Former FTC chief joins consumer data site

Jon Leibowitz, former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has been appointed to the board of advisors for a website that deals in consumer data.

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The site — Reputation.com — allows consumers to store their personal data. Companies can then offer incentives to get consumers to give them access to that data.

“Reputation.com is a technology company that’s breaking new ground in online privacy and reputation management,” Leibowitz said in a statement announcing his appointment.

He praised the site’s goal of “empowering people to own and control their personal data.”

“That’s an important paradigm shift from today, when a person’s information is bought and sold without their knowledge, consent or benefit.”

While at the FTC, Leibowitz worked on numerous privacy issues, including initiating an agency study of “data brokers” — the companies that collect and sell consumer data, often without consumers’ knowledge — and updated the rules governing how websites and apps collect and use data about children.

In a statement, Reputation.com CEO Michael Fertik — who launched the site in 2006 — praised Leibowitz's "outstanding record of serving and safeguarding the privacy and interests of American citizens."

Currently, Leibowitz is an antitrust lawyer at Davis Polk.

-- This post was updated to correct the nature of Leibowtiz's appointment.