The FTC's acting chairwoman said lawmakers should ease regulations on connected cars but pass data security and notification laws.
The FTC's acting chairwoman said lawmakers should ease regulations on connected cars but pass data security and notification laws.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen, calling for “regulatory humility” Wednesday, said lawmakers should ease up on rules governing self-driving cars and indicated the FTC should focus its attention on safeguarding personal information.

"I think we can draw lessons from our substantial experience with health privacy," Ohlhausen said during a National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) workshop on consumer privacy and security issues raised by automated and connected vehicles. "In that area, we coordinate frequently with the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, we often decline to pursue cases that HHS is pursuing. "

She told the group that the FTC should work with it and other agencies “to avoid unnecessary or duplicative regulation that could slow or stop innovation, and ultimately leave consumers worse off."

Ohlhausen also called on Congress to churn out data security and breach notification laws that would “strengthen the Commission's existing data security enforcement tools and require companies to notify consumers” of a breach. “Reasonable and appropriate security practices are critical to addressing the problem of data breaches and protecting consumers from identity theft and other harms,” she noted. “Notifying consumers of breaches after they occur helps consumers protect themselves from any harm that is likely to be caused by the misuse of their data. These principles apply equally to connected cars.”