Blog Posts Tagged with Data security

How the FTC keeps up on technology

Because the FTC’s consumer protection and competition missions cut across so many technology industries, some call it the “Federal Technology Commission.” With only a few exceptions, the FTC protects consumers and competition across the entire economy. Technology now pervades every industry, so we constantly encounter new technologies as part of our job. See the bottom of this post for an extensive list, with links to examples, of technologies and industries where the FTC has experience or expertise.

New Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection

Earlier this year, I joined the FTC as the Research Director of our Office of Technology Research and Investigation. As a computer science PhD, the opportunity to conduct research relevant to consumer protection has been an immensely satisfying experience, so I wanted to share an opportunity for other computer scientists to do the same.

DMCA security research exemption for consumer devices

With the stroke of a pen, the Librarian of Congress has authorized security researchers who are acting in good faith to conduct controlled research on consumer devices so long as the research does not violate other laws such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This temporary exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) begins today. The new temporary exemption is a big win for security researchers and for consumers who will benefit from increased security testing of the products they use.

National Privacy Research Strategy outlines US privacy research agenda

The White House recently released the first ever United States “National Privacy Research Strategy,” which identifies priorities for privacy research funded by the Federal government. While focused on government, the strategy is also intended to spur similar private sector efforts. I participated in the working group that developed the strategy and am excited to see it published.

Four upcoming opportunities to submit your research to the FTC

Researchers, the FTC is interested in hearing from you! Last week we announced our Fall Technology Series on emerging consumer technology issues, and this week we announced our second PrivacyCon event. Both the technology series and PrivacyCon offer opportunities for researchers to submit work that informs questions the FTC is exploring.

Enhancing permissions through contextual integrity

This is the third post in my series on privacy and security in mobile computing, which builds on the Commission’s 2013 mobile security workshop. In my last post, I concluded that – despite a history of usability concerns – permissions in mobile operating systems are clearly an improvement over the opacity of traditional operating systems.

Secure APIs and the principle of least privilege

Editor’s Note: As noted in a previous post, Tech@FTC is expanding to include posts by other technically minded staff at the Commission. This is the first in a series of blog posts by Nithan Sannappa, an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, that will explore several important issues regarding user privacy and security in mobile computing.

What’s the security shelf-life of IoT?

The FTC released a staff report in late January that took a comprehensive look at the emerging “Internet of Things” and security, including secure APIs, authentication, and product updates, was a key theme.

I’d like to briefly explain why I believe IoT security is so important and why the IoT ecosystem presents a unique set of factors that give rise for special attention to security.

Hello world!

I’d like to introduce myself as the new Chief Technologist of the FTC, following in the footsteps of my predecessors, Latanya Sweeney, Steve Bellovin, and Ed Felten. As the Commission enters its 100th year, technological expertise will be more important than ever, and I’m excited to lead this charge.

In this regard, my agenda will include the following: