FTC puts data, privacy under spotlight with new hearings

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The Federal Trade Commission says it plans to hold broad-based hearings about technology, competition and privacy of a kind it hasn’t held in more than 20 years. | AP file photo

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission says it plans to hold hearings about technology, competition and privacy of a kind it hasn’t held in more than 20 years.

The hearings were announced by the FTC’s new chairman, Joseph Simons, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump.

The antitrust lawyer says he wants input on a wide range of topics, including enforcement actions the FTC can take to deter unfair and deceptive conduct related to data collection. The agency will also look at corporate mergers, market power of tech platforms and the effect algorithms and artificial intelligence have on consumer welfare.

The commission plans to hold up to 20 public hearings from September through January after hearing comments about what it should focus on by August.

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