Office of Technology Research and Investigation

Graphic showing icons for computer, smart watch, car, home, mobile device and users connecting to a central internet hubThe Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTech) is located at the intersection of consumer protection and new technologies. As a trusted source for research and information on technology’s impact on consumers, the Office conducts independent studies, evaluates new marketing practices, and provides guidance to consumers, businesses and policy makers. It also assists the FTC’s consumer protection investigators and attorneys by providing technical expertise, investigative assistance, and training. The Office is housed in the Bureau of Consumer Protection and its work supports all facets of the FTC’s consumer protection mission, including issues related to privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, fraud, big data, and the Internet of Things.

For additional technology-related content, please visit the Tech@FTC blog. 

Help protect consumers through research. The FTC welcomes researchers to inform us of their latest findings by emailing papers to Please note that the FTC does not offer compensation of any kind to research submitters and that submitted research may be made public by the FTC. If your research reveals a security vulnerability or otherwise contains information that could pose a risk of harm to the public, before submitting the research to the FTC, please contact Dan Salsburg, Chief Counsel and Acting Chief of OTech, at or 202-326-3402.


What Happens to Leaked Credentials?

OTech created a fake customer database and leaked it on a web site frequented by Identity Thieves.  How long did it take before the Identity Thieves tried to use the data? [9 minutes] How many times did they try to log into the fake customer’s email and payment accounts?  [more than 1200 times]  To find out more about OTech’s study, including the types of attempted purchases the Identity Thieves attempted to make, check out the OTech presentation at the May 24 Identity Theft: Planning for the Future workshop.



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Employment and Internships

If you are interested in an internship opportunity, please email Are you interested in developing tools that can be used to protect consumers from tech-centric scams or conducting cutting-edge technical research at the heart of the FTC’s consumer protection mission?  If so, watch this space for more information about OTech’s Summer internship program.  Past interns have studied the security of drones and IoT devices, the sharing of viewing information by Smart TVs, ads on social media, ransomware, and email

Last updated: 12/14/2017