Luján Introduces Legislation to Improve Consumer Protections Online

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, introduced the Federal Trade Commission Technologists Act of 2021 to ensure online companies are held accountable for harms caused to consumers on their platforms. Specifically, this legislation would create an Office of Technologists at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  to provide an expert workforce that is better suited to enforce regulations against complex tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Under the bill, the office would employ at least 25 technologists and other necessary employees at the FTC to support all activities including policy, enforcement, and the Commission’s use of technology.

“With such an expansive reach and audience thirsty for information, federal agencies must have the experts capable of investigating potential harm to consumers,” said Luján. “That’s why I’m introducing legislation to increase the Federal Trade Commission’s technological capacity to hold new and pervasive digital platforms accountable. As the FTC continues to gear up to meet the tech challenges of the 21st century, increasing the agency’s technological capacity will be a critical step in its mission to protect consumers’ privacy, wellbeing, and health, and that’s exactly what this legislation does.”

“We applaud Senator Luján for introducing a bill that would enable the Federal Trade Commission to adequately staff an Office of Technologists. The FTC currently only has a handful of technologists to support its competition and consumer protection missions, even though it is tasked with policing the world’s most sophisticated technology companies. We urge legislators to advance this bill, along with the crucial $1 billion proposal in the Build Back Better Act to better enable the FTC to protect data privacy,”  said Justin Brookman, Director of Technology Policy, Consumer Reports.

“We support Senator Luján’s bill to add more technologists to the Federal Trade Commission’s staff, to fulfill the agency’s critical role to prevent and effectively enforce against data abuses and other unfair and deceptive practices. Congress must provide the FTC with funding to strengthen the agency’s resources and expertise necessary in overseeing and responding to these types of violations,”  said Carmen Scurato Associate Legal Director & Senior Counsel, Free Press Action

Full text of the legislation can be found HERE.



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