The Federal Trade Commission, an independent government agency, has begun hiring and increasing its staff in an effort to investigate how technology advancements affect consumers. On March 23rd, the chief of the Bureau of Consumer Protection published the following in an FTC blog post, “Today, I am pleased to announce the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s newest initiative to help ensure that consumers enjoy the benefits of technological progress without being placed at risk of deceptive and unfair practices – the formation of BCP’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation.” While this new office is a replacement of the FTC’s Mobile Technology Unit (which has recently handled reporting on mobile shopping and applications aimed at children), it won’t be limited to mobile devices and instead will target privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, big data, and the Internet of Things (as posted in job openings within this particular office).

As technology becomes an even larger part of our lives, the FTC has expanded its skillset in order to be able to adequately investigate new obstacles facing consumers.

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