In a world in which economic participation increasingly requires the use of technology, data privacy is more important than ever before. Every day, Americans are asked to share their personal information with a growing number of businesses in exchange for access to services that weren’t widely available even 30 years ago. This information enables companies to provide everything from online learning and telehealth to grocery deliveries and video communications technology.

However, sharing personal information presents opportunities for abuse. Information like a home address, social security number or geolocation data can be used to commit fraud, steal a person’s identity or track their whereabouts. Consumers deserve to know that their personal information is safe from those who would use it for ill.

In a growing number of cases, companies are falling far short of these standards. This environment raises questions over what role the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should play in regulating data collection and bringing enforcement action against companies that fail to provide minimum data security.

Published in its entirety in The Economic Standard.