Web Privacy Crackdown to Continue, FTC Head Ramirez Says

New U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Edith Ramirez said protecting the privacy of consumers is a vital enforcement mission of the agency that she intends to continue.

“We haven’t been shy about taking on the tech giants” such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., which are under consent decrees with the agency, Ramirez said today at a gathering of privacy professionals in Washington.

“That has been just tremendous and that’s all, in my mind, vital and will continue,” said Ramirez, who became chairman March 4.

In August, Google agreed to pay $22.5 million, the largest fine ever levied by the FTC, to settle allegations that it breached Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser.

The record fine marked the FTC’s first for a violation of Internet privacy policies, following online privacy settlements with Google, Facebook, Twitter Inc. and MySpace Inc. The enforcement actions came as the agency stepped up enforcement of consumers’ online rights.

Ramirez, who has served as an FTC commissioner since 2010, was designated as chairman by President Barack Obama.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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