- Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, announced Friday her resignation effective Feb. 10. Ramirez was appointed to the FTC in 2010 and began serving as chairwoman in 2013.
- "It has been the honor of a lifetime to lead the Federal Trade Commission and to have played a role in advancing American consumers' ability to navigate fast-paced digital markets and promoting business competition across the economy," Ramirez said in a statement. Among other things, Ramirez worked to ensure consumer's data and online privacy were protected.
- With Ramirez's departure, there are now three vacancies on the FTC, with only commissioners Maureen K. Ohlhausen and Terrell McSweeny remaining. Ohlhausen, a Republican, is expected to step in as chairwoman, The Hill reports.
With any new administration, leadership changes at agencies can be expected. During the Obama administration, the FTC had increasingly become the go to agency for cybersecurity and data privacy enforcement. Now, whoever President-elect Donald Trump appoints will have the chance to set the tone for how the agency interacts and regulates businesses.
It seems almost certain that whoever the next chair of the FTC is, there will be increased focus on ensuring companies comply with industry data security standards. What is still unclear is whether their role as chief cybersecurity enforcer falls under the agency's job description.
LabMD has continued to fight the FTC over its charges the company had weak cybersecurity. The company's CEO and others have said Congress did not give explicit directions for the agency to go after companies with poor security practices.