On March 23, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (“OTRI”), which the FTC describes as “an office designed to expand the FTC’s capacity to protect consumers in an age of rapid technological innovation.”

The OTRI will succeed and expand the focus of the FTC’s previously-created Mobile Technology Unit, which focused on consumer protection issues relating to mobile technologies. The FTC has charged the OTRI with conducting research on technology issues including “privacy, data security, connected cars, smart homes, algorithmic transparency, emerging payment methods, big data, and the Internet of Things.”