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The FTC’s Office of Technology (“OT”) was founded in 2023 with the purpose of strengthening and supporting law enforcement investigations and actions, advising and engaging with FTC staff and the Commission on policy and research initiatives, and engaging with the public and relevant experts to understand trends and to advance the Commission’s work.

24 Members of the International Competition Network (ICN) are committed to continuing to strengthen technical capacity.

Today, the agency and a number of its partners in the International Competition Network (“ICN”) – including 24 competition authorities – jointly signed a statement recognizing the need to strengthen enforcement efforts through increased technical capacity and expertise. 

This statement by a number of international enforcers makes clear that integrating technologists and technical experts into the policy and enforcement process is of global importance. Many of these partners play a critical role in establishing foundational digital capacity. A number of these agencies have established their own unique tech, data, or digital markets units and mandates in which technologists serve as subject matter experts or help strengthen their respective agency missions. The participating agencies include: 

  1. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australia

  1. Federal Competition Authority, Austria

  1. Competition Bureau, Canada

  1. Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica, Brazil

  1. Directorate-General for Competition, European Commission

  1. Autorité de la concurrence, France

  1. Bundeskartellamt, Germany

  1. Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, Italy

  1. Japan Fair Trade Commission, Japan

  1. Competition Authority of Kenya, Kenya

  1. Malaysia Competition Commission, Malaysia

  1. Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica, Mexico

  1. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, Netherlands

  1. Norwegian Competition Authority, Norway

  1. Autoridade da Concorrência, Portugal

  1. Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore, Singapore

  1. Competition Commission of South Africa, South Africa

  1. Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, Spain

  1. Swedish Competition Authority, Sweden

  1. Competition Commission, Switzerland

  1. Turkish Competition Authority, Turkey

  1. UK Competition and Markets Authority

  1. U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

  1. U.S. Federal Trade Commission 

Separately, several US federal and state agencies released agency-specific action statements on strengthening tech capacity. 

Today, a number of federal and state agencies, listed below, released agency-specific action statements on strengthening tech capacity. These statements reflect concrete actions to increase tech capacity, including actively hiring technologists – which will help enforce existing laws and design remedies that work for consumers, workers, small businesses, and others.  

Amidst a rapidly evolving tech ecosystem – including the new attention on generative AI – technologists can work with experienced and capable agency staff to surface new tech developments, opportunities, and threats, as well as analyze conduct, assess remedies, and pursue law enforcement actions with greater rigor.

Finally, FTC’s Office of Technology releases new staff report & pocket guide on building tech capacity.

In parallel with this wave of statements from domestic and international agencies, the Office of Technology (“OT”) staff is releasing a report describing the history of technological change that the FTC has observed over its over 100-year history and the structure of this new office, which has been set up to help the agency enforce the law in this emerging digital era.

The staff report, which shares OT’s particular experience, also highlights and discusses the work that technologists are undertaking across FTC’s portfolio. It also includes a pocket guide outlining a sample position description for consideration by agencies hiring technologists.

The staff would like to express immense gratitude to current and former expert technologists and practitioners across the agency who have helped build these efforts.1 We hope that this report can serve as a starting point for agencies hoping to integrate technologists into their own work.

1 This includes but is not limited to staff in the Office of Technology, the Bureau of Economics, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Bureau of Competition, the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, the Technology Enforcement Division, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Division of Litigation Technology & Analysis, the Technology & Information Management team, and Team CTO at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We would also like to thank the Human Capital Management Office, who gathered, reviewed and implemented best tech capacity building practices in government and was critical to standing up the Office of Technology. There have been countless staff involved with setting foundations and continually shaping the abilities of the FTC to take on the next technological shift. We would also like to acknowledge the many government agencies who have established and continue to improve their tech capacity, shaping best practices for other teams to learn from and follow.

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