Federal Trade Commission launches an Office of Technology
The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new Office of Technology, which the agency says will help it keep pace with technological challenges in the digital marketplace.
The department said in a statement the new office will have a team of dedicated staff, which will double the number of technologists working at the agency, and will be led by FTC Chief Technology Officer Stephanie Nguyen.
Its core mission will focus on three key areas: strengthening and supporting law enforcement investigations, advising commission staff on policy and research initiatives, and highlighting market trends.
The office’s new mandate will include helping the FTC to develop new investigative techniques and engaging external stakeholders.
“For more than a century, the FTC has worked to keep pace with new markets and ever-changing technologies by building internal expertise,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said. “Our office of technology is a natural next step in ensuring we have the in-house skills needed to fully grasp evolving technologies and market trends as we continue to tackle unlawful business practices and protect Americans.”
Details of the new office come as the FTC pursues a range of high-profile enforcement initiatives including those against major technology companies and entities that force workers to sign broad non-compete contracts.
They also follow a letter published in the Wall Street Journal last week by the FTC’s remaining Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson, in which she announced her intention to resign because of concerns that the agency is exceeding its legal authority.
Stephanie Nguyen was formally appointed as chief technology officer of the FTC in October, a role she had performed for one year on an acting basis. Previously she worked at the U.S. Digital Service and was a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The FTC Commission voted 4-0 to approve the creation of the Office of Technology.