FTC Enforcement Actions Just Got A Lot More Expensive

Published On June 30, 2016 | By Kandi Parsons | FTC & State AG
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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.

About The Author

Kandi counsels clients on privacy and data security issues, online and general advertising, and marketing practices, including COPPA compliance, student privacy, and the Internet of Things. Kandi advises companies on collecting, protecting, and using consumer data and helps them develop and implement comprehensive privacy and security programs. Drawing on her tenure at the FTC, Kandi assists clients in responding to FTC and state AG enforcement actions. Prior to joining ZwillGen, Kandi spent eight years in the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. While at the FTC, Kandi served on detail for six months to the United States Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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