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I’m delighted to succeed Ed Felten as Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission. He’s a hard act to follow! But what does the FTC do, and what is the role of a technologist?

The FTC polices the online marketplace. While that often involves addressing complex issues, one essential requirement is that companies must keep the promises they make to consumers. If an organization’s privacy policy says that it won’t sell your personal information but it does, that’s deceptive under FTC law. Similarly, if it promises to “keep your personal information secure” but doesn’t follow industry-standard practices, that, too, can constitute deception. In such cases, the FTC can act.

Consumers have a role, too. How do you read a privacy policy? How can you tell if a web site is safe enough? Education is a big part of the FTC’s job as well.

I’ll be using this blog to discuss all of these issues. Going forward, I’ll have substantive posts on these issues and more.

Original comments for “Howdy!”           
April 6, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your

blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. Many thanks

The author’s views are his or her own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commission or any Commissioner.

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