FTC's privacy champion Julie Brill steps down

'Unwavering advocate for consumers and competition'

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to lose one of its primary champions of consumer protection and privacy: Commissioner Julie Brill will step down at the end of the month.

The regulator did not give a reason for Brill's resignation. Sworn into office in April of 2010, her term was due to expire in September this year. She will move to private practice as a lawyer, we're told.

"Commissioner Brill has been an unwavering advocate for consumers and competition during her six-year tenure at the Federal Trade Commission,” FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in announcing Brill's resignation.

“Commissioner Brill’s expertise in consumer protection, privacy, and antitrust has been an asset to the agency, and we are sorry to see her leave. We wish her well on her next steps."

During her run as an FTC commissioner, Brill took charge of a number of privacy causes, including pushing Europe to overhaul its information-safeguarding policies.

Brill also played the role of consumer advocate, leading the charge against Apple for its handling of in-app purchases made by children when playing games on iOS devices, ultimately pushing the Cupertino giant into accepting a $32.5m settlement. Brill also helped head up FTC efforts to crack down on patent trolls who target small businesses with infringement claims.

The FTC did not provide a timetable for naming or confirming Brill's successor. ®

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