Becca Trate is a policy analyst focusing on innovation in retail at ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation. Previously, she worked as a communications manager for the National Association of Broadcasters. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University.
Policymakers Should Not Slow Down Fast Deliveries
Policymakers need to consider the long-term interests of consumers and the continued growth of the e-commerce sector when drafting and implementing new laws and regulations that could slow down the fast logistics networks on which consumers depend.
Combating Organized Retail Crime Will Require More Than Targeting High-value Shoplifting
Congress should amend the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act to underscore the differences between shoplifting and organized retail crime while empowering law enforcement to find and target stolen goods on online resale platforms.
The COOL Online Act Fails to Create Parity in Country of Origin Labeling Requirements
The Senate has introduced legislation to give consumers access to information about the origins of products sold online. But despite its good intentions, the bill would create uneven playing fields for brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and online marketplaces.
Fake Reviews Remain a Problem, But Policymakers Can Cut Them Off at the Source
Businesses and e-commerce platforms have taken steps to remove fraudulent reviews, but policymakers need to address the problem of fake review brokers, or those who facilitate the creation and posting of fake reviews.
Comments to the FTC on the Negative Option Rule
The Commission proposes updating the rule to reflect new types of subscription services and simplifying the cancellation process by creating a “click to cancel” option. The Center for Data Innovation supports the Commission’s goals and offers four recommendations.
Demonizing Data Collection Is the Wrong Way to Address Legitimate Concerns About Chinese E-commerce Apps
Unfounded concerns about data use disparage legitimate businesses practices, ignore the benefits that these apps provide to consumers, and draw the focus away from legitimate concerns about product safety, forced labor, and counterfeit goods. Focusing on legitimate harms, not creating concerns about data, is the path forward to protecting U.S. consumers.
FAA Standardization Could Help Delivery Drones Take Flight
Drone delivery should be taking off, but the Federal Aviation Administration’s continued use of one-off waivers for operating delivery drones, instead of comprehensive regulations, have grounded delivery drone ambitions across the United States.
Comments to the Federal Trade Commission Regarding Proposed Rulemaking to Address Fake Reviews
While online reviews help consumers make informed decisions on products and companies and inform companies about consumer experiences, some bad actors use deceptive practices, including submitting fake reviews, to manipulate consumer behavior and businesses' reputations.
Comments to the Federal Trade Commission Regarding Proposed Changes to the Funeral Rule
The FTC is considering updating the Funeral Rule to require funeral providers to display or distribute itemized price lists online and through electronic media. The Center for Data Innovation supports the proposed change, noting that updating the rule would allow consumers to more easily compare prices across the funeral services industry and likely lead to cost savings for funeral services.
How Policymakers Can Prevent Gift Card Scams
Gift card scams are on the rise. Scammers have relied on predatory tactics, emotional stories, and product tampering to steal nearly $450 million from unsuspecting Americans in the last three years alone, and the trend shows little signs of slowing.
Comments to the FTC on Updating the Endorsement Guides
Impactful revisions to the “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” should promote innovation, protect consumers, and capture how endorsement advertising has changed since 2009, with a focus on social media, consumer reviews, and advertising disclosures.
Best Practices to Combat Online Sale of Counterfeits in the EU and US
As policymakers worldwide explore new anti-counterfeiting measures in their regions, a consensus is emerging in the United States and the EU on best practices for e-commerce platforms to combat online sales of counterfeit goods.
Recent Events and Presentations
How Can Policymakers Support the Adoption of Drones for Package Deliveries?
Watch ITIF's Center for Data Innovation's webinar discussing the challenges inhibiting drone use in package delivery, where the drone tech and regulations affecting the tech are heading, and how policymakers can support safe drone operations.
How Can Policymakers Deter Fake Online Reviews?
Watch ITIF's Center for Data Innovation's panel discussion about the prevalence of fake online reviews, their impact on companies and consumers alike, and steps policymakers can take to stop their spread.
How Should the FTC Address Deceptive Endorsement Advertising Online?
Join the Center for Data Innovation for a panel discussion on the future of the Endorsement Guides and how platforms and policymakers can work together to protect consumers, promote innovation, and improve advertising online.
Establishing Global Norms to Protect Online Shoppers from Dangerous Counterfeits
Watch Center for Data Innovation's panel discussion about how the public and private sector can work together to establish global norms and best practice to better protect consumers from counterfeits and ensure respect for intellectual property in e-commerce.