WASHINGTON, DC — Today’s resignation of Commissioner Julie Brill from the Federal Trade Commission (effective March 31) will permit Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to fill the two vacancies at the top of the country’s chief consumer protection regulator.
“We’ve had our differences, but Commissioner Brill has no doubt served the FTC with grace, exceptional personal charm, and a strong commitment to protecting privacy and data security,” said Berin Szoka, President of TechFreedom. “We wish Commissioner Brill the best in her future endeavors.”
“Commissioner Brill’s resignation offers Congress an increasingly rare opportunity to exhibit some bipartisanship — dare we say, responsible governance?” Szoka continued. “Agency nominations always work best in pairs. Congress should move swiftly to fill her seat as well as the vacancy left by Joshua Wright. Tension between the EU and the US on data transfers makes it ever more important that America’s chief privacy regulator be whole.”
“For both seats, the President and Sen. McConnell should look for someone who brings both legal and economic expertise to the Commission,” concluded Szoka. “Brill distinguished herself in her focus on consumer protection issues — a matter to which Wright had just begun to apply his keen economic analysis. For over thirty years, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition has been well grounded in law and economics thinking. The Bureau of Consumer Protection is increasingly shifting from advertising fraud cases to cases in privacy, data security and product design that involve hard tradeoffs — tradeoffs that can only be balanced with thoughtful attention to economics. Appointing new commissioners from both ends of the law and economics spectrum would put the FTC on firm footing as it becomes the de facto Federal Technology Commission.”
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