FTC Launches New Tech Blog


As America’s top privacy cop, the Federal Trade Commission is in the thick of balancing tech and privacy issues. In the last year, it has been busy trying to stuff leading tech firms like Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Facebook into legal strait-jackets.

Today, it increased its footprint in the media sphere by launching a new Twittter account and a blog devoted to technology issues.

The blog’s author is the FTC’s Chief Technologist, Ed Felton, who writes that the goal of the blog is to offer an informal chatroom for technology issues:

Our goal is to talk about technology in a way that is sophisticated enough to be interesting to hard-core techies, but straightforward enough to be accessible to the broad public that knows something about technology but doesn’t qualify as expert.

It’s too early to tell if any serious policy discussions will emerge on the site but for now the FTC deservers a tip of the hat for opening up the conversation. Too often, government discussions on technology take place in dry documents written in agency speak.

It will be interesting to see if Silicon Valley responds to the agency blog. The conversation could be awkward as the FTC is now holding a sword over many technology companies in the form of privacy and antitrust investigations.

The Twitter page for the agency’s new blog carries a warning that Twitter may use persistant tracking and suggests users read the company’s privacy policy.

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