Obama nominates Internet policy expert Ohlhausen to FTC

President Obama on Tuesday said he plans to nominate Maureen K. Ohlhausen to the Federal Trade Commission, bringing a telecom and technology policy expert to the enforcement agency that has put greater focus on data protection and privacy on the Internet.

Ohlhausen comes from Wilkinson Barker Knauer law firm, where she is a partner in the firm’s privacy, data protection and cyber security practice. Before going to the firm, she was a policy counsel at trade group Business Software Alliance.

She is also an FTC veteran. Ohlhausen served as a director in the Office of Policy Planning from 2004 to 2008 where she worked on issues related to e-commerce and advertising. She worked on an Internet access task force that explored net neutrality debates and the competition in the broadband industry.

Ohlhausen will replace Commissioner William Kovacic on the five-member board.

The FTC has turned its attention to online privacy and data security under chairman Jon Leibowitz. The agency has pursued dozens of investigations into consumer protection violations related to online privacy and data breaches.

The FTC has settled with Google over an investigation into its Buzz social media platform that made users’ data accessible to the public without their consent. Google also settled with Twitter after an investigation into the security of its social media platform after hackers accessed user passwords and accounts.

Related:

Social media firms grapple with privacy and IPOs

Federal lawmakers push for children’s online privacy bill

Cecilia Kang is a staff writer covering the business of media and entertainment.
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