FTC and UK Head Sign MOU Signaling Cross Border Privacy Enforcement

The FTC and the Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom (UK) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) intended to promote increased cooperation and communication between the two agencies to protect consumer privacy. The MOU was signed by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and the UK’s Information Commissioner and Chief Executive, Christopher Graham. 

The Memorandum of Understanding sets forth the agencies’ intent to provide mutual assistance and exchange of information for the purpose of investigating, enforcing and/or securing compliance with privacy laws.  This includes sharing of complaints and providing investigative assistance.

The MOU intends to cover enforcement of the following privacy laws:

Federal Trade Commission (USA)
  • Federal Trade Commission Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
  • Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act
  • CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
Information Commissioner’s Office (UK):
  • Data Protection Act
  • The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations

Take away:  The MOU signals regulators' increasing efforts at cross-global enforcement, particularly on privacy issues. Businesses that otherwise believe that they are immune because they are located on the other side of the pond should re-evaluate that position given the regulators stated intent to cooperate on cross-border enforcement.

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