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U.S. House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on the Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission

On May 8, 2019, the Chairman and four Commissioners from the Federal Trade Commission testified in front the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the FTC: Strengthening Protections for Americans’ Privacy and Data Security.” The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive practices, however, as Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) pointed out in his opening statement, the “FTC has fewer employees today than it did in the 1980’s when the Internet did not exist. It has just over 40 employees responsible for protecting the data of 300 million Americans.” Chairman Pallone, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), all echo similar sentiments in their opening statements acknowledging the need to pass comprehensive consumer privacy legislation, and working with the FTC to learn how Congress can assist the FTC with increasing resources and in fulfilling their mission of better protecting consumer data privacy, competition, and innovation.

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

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California Department of Insurance holds Hearing on How Automobile Insurance Groups Affect Driver Premiums

On Tuesday September 17, 2019, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will hold a hearing in Los Angeles to learn how insurers’ use “affinity group” criteria, such as occupation or education level, to set automobile insurance rates. California’s insurance code “permits insurers to issue insurance coverage on a group basis; however, the rates charged for any group insurance are also required to comply with other applicable California laws.” Commissioner Lara has received complaints that drivers with similar driving characteristics are receiving different automobile group rates due to affinity group criteria.

To view the press release from the California Department of Insurance, click here.

To view the Notice for the hearing, click here.

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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Proposes Research on Driver Interactions with ADAS Technologies

Motor vehicle technology is becoming more sophisticated, and it is common to see vehicles that include advanced driver assistant technologies. These technologies include cruise control, lane keeping assistance, automatic emergency brakes, etc. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that these technologies “have the potential to dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and associated economic costs” that can be related with human error while driving. The implementation of these technologies in vehicles is highly dependent on the driver understanding the functions of the systems.

NHTSA has proposed to research drivers’ interactions with certain advanced driver assistance technologies. As part of the research, NHTSA is collecting information from the public to learn about drivers use and interactions with this technology, as well as an on-road driving experiment in which participants, those with and without experience using driver assistance systems, will engage driver assistance technologies.

 

To view the entire notice and instructions on submitting comments, click here.

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