Chris Hoofnagle has written the definitive book about the FTC’s involvement in privacy and security. This is a deep, thorough, erudite, clear, and insightful work – one of the very best books on privacy and security.
Daniel J. Solove, John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law, George Washington University, Washington DC


A landmark work for anyone interested in privacy or consumer protection law.
Paul M. Schwartz, Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law, Berkeley Law School
Hoofnagle masterfully distills and concentrates the major steps in the development of the FTC’s consumer protection authority…This is a serious work of historical scholarship.
Aaron Burstein, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
This well-written, comprehensive history of the Federal Trade Commission shows once again the primary importance the agency has played in shaping the regulatory environment of the United States. It is essential reading for anyone who deals regularly with the FTC, and is a good primer for those coming in contact with the agency for the first time. Clear, thoughtful and engaging.
Kirstin Downey, Editor, FTC:WATCH
A timely and insightful analysis of the FTC as a key actor in protecting information privacy. The historical context provides a solid basis for Hoofnagle’s well-supported policy recommendations.
Priscilla M. Regan, George Mason University, Virginia
A welcome perspective on challenges facing a great agency designed to “rein in” the American market.
Norman I. Silber, Hofstra University, New York
This book offers a fascinating, informed exploration into the dangers of the Internet and the problems and potentials of the FTC in effectively dealing with them. It is well worth our attention.
William L. Wilkie, Aloysius and Eleanor Nathe Professor of Marketing Strategy, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Chris Hoofnagle has done an enormous public service by writing a comprehensive and critical guide to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection efforts, which started over a century ago in reaction to a changing economy and industrialization. Invasive new technologies and influential internet platforms make the agency more relevant than ever, but it remains a mystery to most citizens and is often maligned by business interests. Those of us who care about privacy and fairness in the digital age must pay attention to the FTC’s crucial role in information policy, and we could not ask for a better primer than this incisive and informative book.
Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform

Hoofnagle makes sense of the recent challenges to the FTC’s data security authority and suggests a long-term, structural strategy for addressing information-age security risks.
Bruce Schneier, author of Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect your Data and Control your World
…an upcoming book by a technologically sophisticated lawyer promises to give Internet businesses some guidance on FTC regulation of privacy on the Internet. The author? Christopher Hoofnagle, of Berkeley, one of [Ashkan] Soltani’s former co-authors and colleagues.
Mark Sableman, Thompson Coburn LLP
Through his analysis of the role played by the courts, Congress, and the Commission itself, he illustrates the doctrines and dynamics that have contributed to shaping this agency. This makes the book a valuable tool for European privacy experts who wish to better understand the US regulatory approach to privacy protection and understand how political and social forces have affected the powers given to the Commission.
Alessandro Mantelero, Professor of Private Law and of Innovation & International Transactions Law at the Polytechnic University of Turin

Discussion by Rebecca Tushnet here.


Review by Alessandro Mantelero here.



Discussion by Catherine Porter here.

Discussions by Jeff Sovern here and here.

Discussion by John Kincaide of Intel here.

Discussion by Dee Pridgen here.

Discussion by Kevin Burke of IAPP, here.

Open Society Institute’s Research Digest mentioned the book on February 29, 2016:

Research Digest • Open Society Information Program • 29 February 2016 =================================================


* “Federal Trade Commission: Privacy Law and Policy” by Chris Jay Hoofnagle (Cambridge University Press)

This book traces how the Federal Trade Commission has evolved into the most important regulator of information privacy – and thus innovation policy – in the world. A major theme of the book is how modern calls to limit the FTC to common law are confused, have no basis in law or history, and are simply a ploy to roll back the FTC’s power. Today’s FTC, argues the author, can do little to address an economy organized around surveillance and European privacy values are unlikely to be embraced given the FTC’s economistic conception of its role.