MarketingData-Driven MarketingFTC Fills Key Roles as Regulation Looms

FTC Fills Key Roles as Regulation Looms

Edward Felten is named chief technologist and Eileen Harrington becomes executive director.

feltonThe Federal Trade Commission has appointed Edward Felten, a leading authority on Internet privacy, as its first-ever chief technologist. He will assume the role in January.

Felten is founding director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, where he was serving as a professor of computer science and public affairs until the hire. (He said in a blog post that he would be taking a leave of absence for his new position.) Felten was already a part-time consultant for the FTC, as well as the U.S. departments of Justice and Defense.

In 2008, Felton led a team of researchers who discovered a way to steal encrypted data from computer hard disks by freezing their memory chips.

Felton’s arrival to the FTC is significant as a number of proposals to reign in online advertising work their way through Congress. He “will provide invaluable input into the recommendations we’ll be making soon for online privacy, as well as the enforcement actions we’ll soon bring to protect consumer privacy,” the FTC said in a written statement.

Immediate industry reaction to the appointment was positive. Anil Dash, director of Expert Labs, wrote on Twitter that Felton was “the best possible candidate for the job.”

The FTC has also appointed Eileen Harrington, COO of the U.S. Small Business Administration, as the agency’s executive director. Harrington is a 25-year veteran of the FTC, formerly serving as associate director for marketing practices, deputy director, and acting director.

Harrington was a proponent of tighter regulations for online advertisers when she was deputy director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection for the FTC in 2008. After the FTC issued its self-regulatory guidelines for advertisers, Harrington predicted that the longer the industry took to adopt those rules, “the more likely policies are going to develop.”

Harrington was instrumental in the development of the federal Do-Not-Call program, and has compared that effort to the need to reign in online advertisers. “If [the industry doesn’t] exercise some restraint,” she told ClickZ in 2008, it is “potentially on a similar trajectory.”

Related Articles

Consumers 'Resigned' to Giving Up Data, But Many Fear Consequences [Study]

Data-Driven Marketing Consumers 'Resigned' to Giving Up Data, But Many Fear Consequences [Study]

3y Emily Alford
Obama's Privacy Policy Might Be Bad for Marketers

Data-Driven Marketing Obama's Privacy Policy Might Be Bad for Marketers

3y Emily Alford
Facebook to Sell Web Browsing Data to Advertisers

Data-Driven Marketing Facebook to Sell Web Browsing Data to Advertisers

4y Carly Page
Marketers Poised to Benefit From Government Distrust After NSA Kerfuffle

Data-Driven Marketing Marketers Poised to Benefit From Government Distrust After NSA Kerfuffle

4y Liva Judic
For Whom The Bell Really Tolls? NSA Docs Show Google Cookies Used for Data Spying

Analytics For Whom The Bell Really Tolls? NSA Docs Show Google Cookies Used for Data Spying

4y Liva Judic
Exclusive NY Event Helped Digital Advertisers Meet Mitch McConnell

Data-Driven Marketing Exclusive NY Event Helped Digital Advertisers Meet Mitch McConnell

5y Kate Kaye
Note to FTC: Google Satisfies Information Needs Way More Than Shopping Needs

Data-Driven Marketing Note to FTC: Google Satisfies Information Needs Way More Than Shopping Needs

5y Mike Grehan
FTC Finalizes Settlement With Facebook

Data-Driven Marketing FTC Finalizes Settlement With Facebook

5y Madeline Bennett