FTC's Lina Khan and CFPB's Rohit Chopra denounce tech companies' "misapplication of Section 230"

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the North Carolina Department of Justice are weighing in on a court case that they say uses Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — the law shielding the tech industry from liability for what users post — to skirt around other laws. Consumers filed a lawsuit over inaccurate information on publicdata.com, a website that gathers public information to compile and sell background check reports and is operated by a company called Source for Public Data. Although such platforms are typically considered consumer reporting agencies, a trial court dismissed the suit after the company argued it was an “interactive computer service” and not the original source of the information, so it should be shielded from Fair Credit Reporting Act violations under Section 230. The case is important, especially “as tech companies expand into a range of markets,” FTC Chair Lina Khan and CFPB Director Rohit Chopra wrote. The two agencies, they said, would “be closely scrutinizing tech companies’ efforts to use Section 230 to sidestep applicable laws and will seek to ensure that this legal shield is not being used or abused to gain an undue competitive advantage over law-abiding businesses.”

FTC Chair Lina Khan joins forces with Rohit Chopra to denounce "misapplication of Section 230"