FTC Enforcement Actions Just Got A Lot More Expensive
The FTC has increased the maximum civil penalty from $16,000 to $40,000 per violation of laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), CAN-SPAM, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act required the FTC to adjust its maximum civil penalties for inflation under a specified formula. See further details here.
In addition to increases applicable to COPPA, CAN-SPAM and TSR, the maximum civil penalty for a knowing violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act increased from $3,500 to $3,756 per violation.
In announcing the adjustments, the FTC noted the new amounts were maximums and certain statutory criteria apply to the determination of civil penalties applied for violations of such laws, including: the degree of culpability, history of prior conduct, ability to pay, ability to continue to do business, and as justice may require.
Nonetheless, companies may have to fork over significantly more money if they enter into orders with the FTC or lose at trial for violations of these laws.