The Federal Trade Commission is asking Congress for an additional $160 million in funding for fiscal year 2024, marking an increase of around 37% from the current $430 million budget.
The agency says it plans to use some of the requested funds to hire an additional 310 full-time employees, including 106 dedicated to competition issues, and 62 devoted to consumer protection.
The proposed budget increase “will permit the FTC to continue to meet the ongoing challenges of its mission to protect consumers and promote competition,” Chair Lina Khan said in a letter sent to Congress Monday, along with a report outlining how the agency proposes to spend the money, as well as its activity over the last 12 months.
“Additional staff will allow the agency to investigate and litigate more and increasingly complex matters, such as those involving health privacy and children’s privacy; unfair or deceptive practices by platforms; frauds using new technologies in the areas of online and mobile transactions; harmful practices in multilevel marketing and the gig economy; and unlawful conduct in the fintech and payment processing space,” the FTC says in the report.
The agency adds that the proposed new hires devoted to consumer protection would work on “increasingly complex consumer protection investigations, including privacy and data security issues,” as well as “emerging technology in the area of marketing practices,” and other issues relating to technology.