WASHINGTON, D.C. | December 7, 2021 — National Whistleblower Center (NWC) commends Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) for introducing the FTC Whistleblower Act of 2021. This bill aims to protect and encourage whistleblowers who disclose wrongdoing by current or former employers that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If enacted, the FTC Whistleblower Act would establish a Dodd-Frank style whistleblower program with strong anti-retaliation provisions, empowering whistleblowers to protect the interests of everyday consumers. The FTC is responsible for enforcement of 70 different laws, and directly oversees big tech.
During our national reckoning over the role of social media in our society, it is crucial that individuals with knowledge of wrongdoing can come forward. If tech giants are engaging in anti-competitive practices, misleading consumers, or underreporting known harms on their platforms, the public must be informed.
Currently, whistleblowers reporting these sorts of abuses, such as the recent Facebook whistleblowers, must report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is possible because Facebook is a publicly traded company. Creating the FTC whistleblower program is a crucial step to ensuring more disclosures can be made, extending eligibility to all companies under the FTC’s purview.
Reps. Schakowsky and Trahan have introduced this bill to the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee. NWC advocates for the swift passage and enactment of this legislation as a necessary safeguard for American consumers.
Siri Nelson is available for comment. For more information, contact National Whistleblower Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.