January 31, 2017

Maureen Ohlhausen, acting FTC chair, to speak at ABA consumer protection conference in Atlanta, Feb. 2

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2017 — Maureen Ohlhausen, appointed on Jan. 25 by President Trump to be acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, will be the introductory keynote speaker at the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law’s 2017 Consumer Protection Conference to be held Thursday, Feb. 2, in Atlanta.

Ohlhausen, an FTC commissioner since 2012, is serving a term that expires in September 2018, and will speak at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. She will also participate in a panel discussion later titled, “Consumer Protection and Enforcement in Tomorrow’s Marketplace.”

What:  
2017 Consumer Protection Conference
Sponsored by the ABA Section of Antitrust Law

When: 
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where:
Georgia Aquarium Inc.
225 Baker St. NW
Atlanta, GA  30313

The program will also feature top agency officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico participating in a roundtable discussion on “Consumer Protection Across Borders.” Panelists include: Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection; Bernardo Altamirano-Rodriguez, director general of Mexico’s Better Business Bureau and former federal attorney for consumer protection for the Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer in Mexico City; and Daniel Therrien, privacy commissioner of Canada. These officials will discuss domestic and international enforcement priorities as well as practical recommendations for companies that operate in multiple jurisdictions, including:

  • When to cooperate or agree to disagree and where enforcers see the potential for further co-operation and/or collaboration 
  • Achieving better transparency, uniformity and predictability regarding advertising-related consumer protection issues in a global economy
  • The international perspective on privacy and data security

Other program highlights include:

“Consumer Protection and Enforcement in Tomorrow’s Marketplace” (8:15-9 a.m.) — As innovation and globalization in marketing and advertising continue to unfold at a rapid pace, what are the key consumer protection enforcement issues and priorities? Ohlhausen will be joined on the panel by representatives from the Canada Competition Bureau and the Nebraska attorney’s general office. They will discuss their enforcement agendas, trends and issues to be on the lookout for in the months ahead and what recent enforcement decisions and/or guidelines mean for businesses.  Speakers include: Matthew Boswell, senior deputy commissioner, Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch, Canada Competition Bureau; and Abigail Stempson, chief, Consumer Protection Division, Office of the Nebraska Attorney General.

Dealing with Multiple Enforcement and Investigative Techniques (10:15-11 a.m.)

Agencies have a wide range of enforcement tools and techniques at their disposal: from press releases and warning letters to searches, from informal guidance to published rules, from administrative litigation to federal court.  When are these tools best used and to what end?  What can and should subjects of agency scrutiny do to respond?  What do you do when different agencies are pursuing the same conduct and seeking different remedies? Speakers include: moderator Patricia A. Conners, chief deputy, Office of the Florida Attorney General; and Robin L. Moore, chief, Criminal Liaison Unit, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Washington, D.C.

Evolving Consumer Protection Issues in Fintech (2:15-3 p.m.) — Panelists, including Malini Mithal, acting associate director of the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices, will look at how the dramatic growth in the availability of Fintech alternatives is changing the way financial products and services are offered and delivered to consumers.  What are the key consumer protection issues that companies in this area and their partners need to be on the lookout for? What third-party liability issues could arise? And which enforcement agencies are involved?  Are there too many “cooks in the kitchen” and what are the appropriate limits?

The complete agenda can be found online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/newsand on Twitter @ABANews.