CPBR uses the phrase "as a practical matter" several times. How would you interpret this if you were the FTC? If you were a company?

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"As a practical matter" is an ambiguous term usually taken to mean "in practice". In the CPBR, the term is used several times referring to data that is "as a practical matter" linked to an entity. The ambiguity of the term may cause the FTC and corporations to interpret the term differently.

How the FTC Would Interpret it

The FTC would probably interpret "as a practical matter linkable" to mean "whether data can be reasonably linked to a user". They would also need to account for ways which new technologies, or adversarial companies might try to find loopholes where data is not directly linked. For example, if a company has two databases, one with names, another with information, and they are indexed in a way such that the information at each index of one corresponds to the information from that index in the other database, it is clear that the data is basically linked even though the databases are different and the data is not directly linked.

How Companies Would Interpret it

Companies would interpret "as a practical matter linkable" in a way that is as close to "actually linkable to the specific person" as possible. Then they could use obscure ways of storing data to bypass the regulations the CPBR places on using data that can be linked to a person. For example, a company could have two separate databases one with names and another with information. These databases could then be indexed such that the person at index 0 of the first database corresponds with the information from index 0 in the second database, but the two databases are separate so the data is not directly linked.