back to article America's favorite toothless watchdog FTC pleads with Congress to give it LESS power to tackle tech monopolies

One thing you can't accuse people of in Washington DC is lacking an appetite for power. But not, it seems, if that power comes with responsibility. This morning, co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes, launched a blistering but well-reasoned attack on his former company and his friend CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he outlined why …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    First of all, FTC should not be the privacy agency

    US too needs something alike ICO and the many specific privacy authorities in Europe. Data protection and privacy are not 'trade' issues, they are more fundamental citizens' rights.

    This way the FTC can then focus on antitrust issues and go back to understand prices are not the only metric - and after all there's different type of 'prices' citizen could end to pay

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: First of all, FTC should not be the privacy agency

      > Data protection and privacy are not 'trade' issues

      They become trade issues when data and privacy become commercial ware, so from their point of view, it is indeed the FTC's job to regulate that.

      Of course one could argue privacy and personal data shouldn't be traded in the first place, but that's madness! We already can't buy and sell the people, what will become of our proud economy if we can't even buy and sell at least their data!...


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Regulators who don't want to regulate"

    Giving the FTC broad rulemaking authority without any guidelines or restrictions is a recipe for policies that shift with the wind every time a new party takes control of the White House. That's not going to help consumers, and it will be a pain in the ass for companies.

    Congress shouldn't abdicate its responsibility - pass a law that provides a framework, and let the FTC fill in the blanks. But I guess most of them prefer to do nothing because that's what the guys giving them bags of cash want them to do. This way they can all talk about how they want to do it, but fail to anything because they can't agree on a vision.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: "Regulators who don't want to regulate"

      Yeah, that's the point, and that is missed in the first paragraph and the headline. There is a legislative, and they are not part of it. And that is correct. And this is the way things are in other places as well...

      They want to regulate and apply the rules, not make the laws. Two different things.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The biggest catch is the weasel wording being used by gov and FB and lets add Google and few others to that. There isn't a product in the traditional sense in that the users are the product. Lawmakers really don't seem to be able to get their heads around this (unless it's election time) then the users ... err... voters get all the BS tossed at them.

  4. The Nazz

    "Power", or perceived power, does funny things to a person.

    Is it really nine years ago since the then leader of a minor UK political party sold out both his own principles and that of his party for the blatant and opportunistic grab at power?

    If the likes of Zuckerberg (60% majority vote) and Clegg really believe change is needed, why don't they just do it themselves? They've no need to wait until the Govt/FCT or others do it for them.

  5. zaax

    Another Trump. Could be a start of the break up of the USA?

  6. Mike 16 Silver badge

    data privacy national standard

    When a congresscritter talks up a "national standard", one can usually assume that it is intended to supercede (i.e. "gut") any local or state regulation of whatever activity their favorite lobby represents.

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