The FTC recently voted to authorize the use of compulsory processes—the FTC’s primary investigatory tools—on what it calls “key law enforcement priorities.” The resolutions allow investigators to take actions like issuing subpoenas and civil investigations demands (commonly referred to as “CIDs”) in a variety of areas. Of note is the inclusion of both healthcare markets and technology platforms, signaling a potential FTC interest in those sectors.
These resolutions compliment the agency’s existing authority to investigate deceptive or unfair acts, and comes on the heels of the blow the FTC suffered as a result of the Supreme Court’s AMG decision. For those in the healthcare and technology platform space, this may signal an increase in privacy and data security scrutiny by the FTC.
Putting it Into Practice: The authorization of the use of compulsory processes suggests that the FTC will not be backing off from bringing actions to enforce against unfair and deceptive practices. We will continue to monitor to see the impact this may have on privacy and data security cases brought by the agency in the healthcare and technology platform industries.