Skip to content

Fall 2024 Reading Group

Consumer Technologies, Regulations, and Markets

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Automated technologies ranging from Facebook’s news feed to Amazon’s search box to Citibank’s credit scoring algorithm influence what people think, purchase, and pay. Although consumer transactions mean big business, they also play a major role in shaping some of the most pressing societal issues, including election disinformation, inflation, economic inequality, and climate change. This reading group will examine consumer technologies and markets from three main perspectives: the array of businesses, from small family-owned companies to multinational corporations, that must comply with regulations; the pivotal administrative agencies—especially the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission—that write or enforce rules; and the mass of American consumers who purchase over $15 trillion in goods and services annually and account for approximately two-thirds of GDP. Throughout, we will explore how to build a consumer regulatory framework that not only mitigates harms but also positions public and private digital intermediaries to contribute more to society.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: TBD.