The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a federal administrative law agency that uses enforcement action as well as issue advocacy and public education in its mission. Its mission, as discussed on its website, is to protect consumers against “anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices.” Regulation, though, is balanced against “unduly burdening legitimate business activity.” The FTC’s stated vision is for a “vibrant economy characterized by vigorous competition and consumer access to accurate information” (FTC, n.d.). Critics claim that too often the agency favors business freedom over consumer protection. In contrast, the European Union in 2014 backed a “right to be forgotten,” and the European Court of Justice held that search engines should remove irrelevant links and results.

Privacy, transparency, and property rights frequently collide when ...

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