FTC Protects Your Privacy, But FCC Rules At Hoops

In a wide-ranging interview, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz spoke with NPR’s On the Media about the agency’s role in protecting consumer privacy, fighting back against deceptive marketing practices — and about Leibowitz’s weekend basketball games with Federal Communications Commission chief Julius Genachowski: “Julius has been schooling me on the basketball court for some time. … He’s very crafty.”

Despite tearing his meniscus defending against Genachowski’s on-court “craftiness,” Leibowitz’s focus in the interview, for the most part, wasn’t actually the DC intramurals. In particular, he raised concerns about major consumer issues like net neutrality and internet privacy.

Imagine that you were walking through a shopping mall and there was someone walking behind you taking notes on everywhere you went and sending it off to anyone who was interested for a small fee. That would be very disturbing to most people. To some extent, we see a version of that on the Internet, because information is taken from consumers. For the most part that information is anonymized, which is good … but not every company has great data security, and beyond that, consumers ought to be informed in a clear way about the choices they make.

Full interview below. No word on whether Leibowitz is training for a rematch against Genachowski.

FTC Chairman on Privacy, Net Neutrality and the Future of News [On the Media]