The new FTC majority offers Lina Khan the chance to promote an aggressive agenda

Mrs. Khan he also said wants to increase the agency’s powers by taking into account the regulations governing privacy and the way algorithms make decisions. He said the FTC has underutilized its role as a regulatory body and that regulations would strengthen its mandate to protect consumers.

“As our economy continues to digitize further, market-wide rules could help provide clear warning and make enforcement more effective and efficient,” he said at a privacy conference last month.

The FTC could also respond to requests from progressive activist groups who want the agency to ban data-driven advertising business models and ban non-compete agreements that prevent workers from taking a job with a competitor of their current employer. Work.

But former FTC officials said Ms. Khan faced challenges, even with the Democratic majority. Creating privacy regulations could take years, said Daniel Kaufman, former deputy head of the agency’s consumer protection office. Companies are likely to challenge rules outside the FTC’s mandate in court to protect consumers from deceptive and unfair practices.

“The FTC’s rule-processing capabilities aren’t designed to address behavioral advertising, so I’ve told my clients that the agency might kick off something with a lot of press, but it’s not clear where it’s going to go,” Mr. Kaufman, a partner of the law firm BakerHostetler said.

Ms. Khan’s efforts will certainly continue to face opposition from Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Wilson. Mr. Phillips said he has reservations about the agency becoming a beefier regulator. in January, He said Congress, not the FTC, should be setting new privacy rules.

Ms. Wilson recently released screenshots from an internal survey showing satisfaction among the FTC’s professional staff has declined. “The new leadership has marginalized and disrespected staff, causing a brain drain that will take a generation to resolve,” she said.