Because Technology Isn’t Going Away, FTC Creates Division Dedicated To Internet Of Things

With technology now touching nearly every aspect of consumers’ lives, the Federal Trade Commission wants to put more focus on privacy, big data and “smart” everything. To ensure it’s capable of protecting consumers from these rapidly evolving innovations, the agency announced the creation of the Office of Technology Research.

The FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection director Jessica Rich announced the new division Monday, saying it would usher in the next generation of consumer protection.

The Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI) will replace the current Mobile Technology Unit (MTU), which focused on protecting consumers from deceptive mobile apps and other smartphone-centric topics.

While Rich says the OTRI will continue the work of the MTU, it will broaden the scope to protect consumers from every aspect of technology.

The office will provide research, investigations and insights regarding technology issues such as privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, big data and the Internet of Things.

“The FTC keeps its finger on the pulse of markets, channeling its resources to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair practices involving new technologies,” Rich says in a blog post. “New consumer technologies are coming online daily – and OTRI will make sure that the FTC is protecting consumers in emerging marketplaces.”

BCP’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation: The next generation in consumer protection [The Federal Trade Commission]

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