The e-Government Act places strong controls on government data collection through websites. As we described, privacy outside the government is protected by law in some subject areas, such as credit, banking, education, and healthcare. But there is no counterpart to the e-Government act for private companies.
No Deceptive Practices
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to prosecute companies that engage in deceptive trade or unfair business practices. If a company advertises in a false or misleading way, the FTC can sue. The FTC has used that approach to address web privacy violations: If a company advertises a false privacy protection, that is, if the company says it will protect privacy in some way but does not do so, the FTC considers that false advertising and can take legal action. Because of the FTC, privacy notices at the bottom of websites have meaning and are enforceable.