By Cecilia Kang
March 8, 2019
WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has no shortage of critics who say it cannot protect Americans from the prying eyes of Big Tech. Instead of forceful action against the likes of Facebook and Google, they say, the F.T.C. leans on a rules that make it hard to impose penalties bigger than rounding errors for the companies.
Those critics have an unusual champion: Joseph J. Simons, the man running the agency.
“We have this over 100-year-old statute that is our main authority,” Mr. Simons said in his first sit-down interview since becoming chairman 10 months ago. “And clearly legislators who approved that were not thinking about data security and privacy issues.
”In the deregulatory era of the Trump administration, Mr. Simons, 60, a Republican lawyer who has jumped between the public and private sectors for more than 30 years, is a rare voice for strengthening the government’s hand.
Mr. Simons has urged Congress to expand the F.T.C.’s privacy-enforcement powers and allow it to impose fines more easily, write new rules and hire more experts. He also says the agency should police how all companies and nonprofits — not just technology companies — collect and handle people’s digital data…
FINISH READING: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/technology/ftc-facebook-joseph-simons.html?partner=IFTTT