The Federal Trade Commission is weighing options to strengthen online privacy rules, especially with regard to protecting children (via WSJ).

Strong Online Privacy Protections

On Wednesday, a Senate Commerce Committee will discuss efforts to help the FTC deal with online privacy problems. But the agency could look for ways to act independently and bypass Congressional deadlocks.

In writing new privacy rules, the FTC could follow several paths, the people said: It could look to declare certain business practices unfair or deceptive, using its authority to police such conduct. It could also tap a less-used legal authority that empowers the agency to go after what it considers unfair methods of competition, perhaps by viewing certain businesses’ data-collection practices as exclusionary.

Lina Khan, a Democrat who is often critical of Big Business, recently became chairwoman of the FTC. Some expect her to support the recent antitrust efforts against tech companies, such as new regulations. Or, as the WSJ points out, the FTC could do nothing.

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