At the FTC, practicing 'regulatory humility'
Up next, Post editor Mary Jordan talks to FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen.
Ohlhausen was sworn in as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission on April 4, 2012, to a term that expires in September 2018. She participated in an FTC Internet of Things workshop in November 2013. Read her remarks here.
Prior to joining the comission, Ohlhausen was a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, where she focused on FTC issues, including privacy, data protection and cybersecurity. She also previously served at the FTC for 11 years.
Ohlahausen said she likes to practice something she’s termed “regulatory humility.”
“When we face new technology, new challenges, we as regulators try to educate ourselves,” she said. “So we know, how do we have more knowledge before we act.”
NSA revelations from Edward Snowden have made people more sensitive to privacy and issues that the FTC follows, the commissioner said.
Ohlahausen said she also fears that one bad incident by device manufacturers early on in development can reap huge regulatory reaction.
“I really encourage businesses to pay close attention to these issues,” she said. “[The Internet of Things] has great benefits. But if you mess it up early on, there’ll be great consequences.”