FTC launches new office for tech research and investigation

The FTC has formed a new research office called the Office of Technology Research and Investigation, and as you'd expect given its name, it focuses on technology and all of the issues that might arise surrounding it. The FTC is currently on the prowl for new hires that'll be joining the office, which it said will ultimately help it "protect consumers" in a world where technology is developing rapidly. This new office is a successor to the Mobile Technology Unit, which was formed a few years ago to tackle mobile-centric technological issues in particular.

The Federal Trade Commission announced the news today, saying that the OTRI, as it is being called, will build upon the foundation set by the MTU, though it'll be expanding beyond mobile technologies to take on "an even broader array" of tech-related issues and the related investigations that join them. This will include things like mobile payments and other new payment methods, smart technologies, connected cars, and all the other fun stuff entering the consumer sphere.

Said Chief Technologist Ashkan Soltani in a statement, "We believe OTRI will be an instrumental source for research and information on technology's impact on consumers." The FTC is moving fast to get the office up and running, and so it is only taking applications until April 3. Graduates are being encouraged to get on board via a Technology Policy Research Fellowship, and the commission's Technology Research Internship Program will play a role in the new office.

A full time Research Coordinator is also being sought, with this person eventually being tasked with overseeing the office's various research projects. Rounding it all out are some changes coming to how the FTC communicates with the public as well — soon its blog will be expanded to include posts from more than the Chief Technologist about all things tech research related.