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All right everyone I think we're gonna get started it's exciting to see a nice full room here today thank you all for coming this is a pivotal time for the Federal Trade Commission as the hundred and four year old agency faces many questions about the role it should play in the digital age and so we appreciate everyone taking the time to discuss what's happened at the at the FTC's recently convened hearings and how the agency can best protect consumers from technological harms moving forward I'm Sarah Morris director of open Internet policy for new America's open technology institute New America is a nonpartisan think tank and civic enterprise dedicated to the renewal of American politics prosperity and purpose in the digital age our experts work on a wide range of issues from national security to work family balance and of course technology and telecom policy the the open Technology Institute works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits we promote universal access to communications technologies that are both open and secure using a multidisciplinary approach that brings together advocates researchers organizers and innovators last month the FTC began a series of hearings to explore whether competition and consumer protection laws are keeping up with the 21st century the hearings are an exciting opportunity for the agency to reflect on its role in protecting consumers in light of the numerous issues by tech companies and failing to adequately protect consumers data breaches are now a recurring headline and there is increasing concern over the ability of tech platforms to give preferential treatment to their own projects products and services in response the FTC is just one of the many voices asking what can be done here at the open Technology Institute we are also asking this question and have welcomed the chance to submit our own thoughts and in comments to the FTC as part of its hearing process our comments touch on only a few of the topics covered in the hearings thus far they cover broadband competition and policy data Portability and interoperability online the importance of intellectual property in encouraging competition and the ways in which the digital standard can aid FTC enforcement efforts indeed the FTC hearings are a noteworthy demonstration of the agency's commitment to accountability and transparency and we have fought the agency for soliciting public input on these pressing topic pressing topics and for providing a forum for thoughtful discussion on whether the FTC is up to the task of tackling these issues we're gathered here to build on these discussions to date there have been four hearings each tackling a different area of consumer protection and competition law over the course of a few days and there are more to come including one on vertical mergers and the consumer welfare standard this Thursday we have an all-star panel of speakers who bring a range

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