Augmenting the Investigations Capacity of the Federal Trade Commission

by The Tech Policy Primer Winter 2022 Cohort

As part of their 10-week policy training program, the scholars of the Tech Policy Primer program spent 6 weeks working on public sector challenges. In teams of 4 to 5 people, the leaders either proposed their own projects or worked with a real-world government client on a public sector problem. Two teams worked with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help augment the agency’s investigations capacity. Click below to read more about the teams’ proposals and view a sample of the outputs both teams created.

A Smart Reporting Channel for Federal Trade Commission Informants

A Guided Privacy-Preserving Tool for Reporting Antitrust Violations
by Arjun Hassard, Justino Mora, Julia Uhr, and Ritvik Vasudevan

Currently, the FTC processes all informant submissions regarding anticompetitive corporate behavior by email, which has several flaws — including inefficiency and privacy risks. This project recommends that the FTC develop a smart reporting channel with open source software to modernize its informant tools. The proposed user interface would identify the category of violation, educate the informant, and expedite report processing and authentication. The underlying open source code would further guarantee the privacy and security of submissions and any subsequent communication.

View the One-Pager
View the Policy Brief
View the Smart Reporting Channel Walkthrough
View the Smart Reporting Channel
View the Sample Workflow for the Smart Reporting Channel

Building Technical Expertise at the Federal Trade Commission

Expanding technical capacity to improve investigations, litigation, and compliance
by Ehrik Aldana, Michael Masuda, Félim McMahon, Matthew O’Shaughnessy, and Nina Vyedin

Currently, the FTC lacks the volume of technical experts to properly meet its regulatory obligations in the digital era. This project proposes that the FTC develop new pathways for technologies to join the agency to support investigations, litigation, compliance, strategy, and policy. In particular, this project proposes that the FTC should consider establishing a Technology Advisory Committee of academic and industry experts to improve technology expertise at the FTC.

View the One-Pager
View the Technology Advisory Committee Guide