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The FTC Warns Companies Against Unlawful Use of Sensitive Data

Client Updates / Jul 31, 2022

Written by Haim Ravia and Dotan Hammer

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission published a blog post stating that it will use the full scope of its legal authorities to protect consumers’ privacy against the over-collection, indefinite data retention, or misuse of their data.

Misuse of sensitive data such as mobile location and health information, might expose consumers to discrimination, stigma, mental anguish, or other serious harms. Such risks are especially high, the FTC explains, when concerning information collected by connected devices such as smartphones, wearable fitness trackers, and “smart home” products because it usually combines consumers’ location data with biometric data or with health data such as sleep patterns and fitness metrics.

The FTC also calls for a cautious approach to aggregated or “anonymous” data, because such data can often be re-identified, especially in the context of location data. It may therefore be considered a deceptive practice that violates the FTC Act.

CLICK HERE to read the FTC’s blog post on enforcing the law against the illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data.