Washington, DC - Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich announced in a blog post published today the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI), a successor to the Bureau’s Mobile Technology Unit (MTU) that will expand the agency’s technology expertise in an age of rapid technological innovation.
In his Tech@FTC blog post, Chief Technologist Ashkan Soltani described several new positions the agency is creating as part of the formation of the OTRI, including a two-year Technology Policy Fellowship program, a research coordinator, and a technical internship program.
The OTRI will provide expert research, investigative techniques and further insights to the agency on technology issues involving all facets of the FTC’s consumer protection mission, including privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, big data, and the Internet of Things.
Like the former MTU, the new office will be housed in the Bureau of Consumer Protection and is the agency’s latest effort to ensure that its core consumer protection mission keeps pace with the rapidly evolving digital economy. Kristin Cohen, the current Chief of the MTU, will lead the work of the OTRI.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.