With a nod to Paul Keckley who can see a big bad wolf coming from a mile away, we agree that the confirmation of the tie-breaking vote on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a big deal for healthcare stakeholders. The FTC is not only focusing on anticompetitive behavior in the healthcare sector — but it plans to exercise its considerable jurisdiction over consumer data privacy protections, and that is squarely within the new commissioner’s area of expertise. As we said when he was first nominated, Alvaro Bedoya was the chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy before he was the founding director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology. And as HIPAA aficionados know, it is the FTC that protects consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices involving health data. That’s why on September 15, 2021, the FTC sent out a reminder that non-HIPAA-covered health apps must notify consumers if health data is released without authorization, or they will face penalties of up to $43,792 per day. But the FTC is just getting started. While there is noise about Congress making progress on a comprehensive federal privacy law, we will be watching the newly-empowered and activist FTC, which wasted no time getting started on its plan to blow houses down.
May 20, 2022 | 2 min read
May 20, 2022
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