President Biden plans to nominate Álvaro Bedoya, an online privacy expert, for a position on the Federal Trade Commission, putting a critic of the tech industry in a key position to regulate the sector, according to two people. familiar with the plans.
Bedoya is a lawyer who has studied how new technologies can violate privacy. He authored a 2016 report calling on Congress to more closely regulate the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement. And previously, he was the lead attorney for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s privacy subcommittee.
If confirmed, Bedoya will join an agency that is prepared to take aggressive action against the tech industry and other corporate giants. The agency’s president, Lina Khan, is a legal expert who has advocated for regulations that would curb Silicon Valley’s power over commerce and personal data.
“He has blazed a trail to hold big tech accountable and has spent his career fighting on behalf of the defenseless, particularly those in immigrant communities,” said Charlotte Slaiman, director of competition policy for the think tank for regulation. Public Knowledge, in a statement. statement. “His scholarship and advocacy revealed how Big Data is used to facilitate oppressive surveillance and racial discrimination against the most vulnerable.”
Mr. Biden will nominate Mr. Bedoya to the position currently held by Rohit Chopra, an avowed progressive that the President has nominated to head the Office of Consumer Financial Protection.
Bedoya declined to comment. His expected nomination was first reported by Axios.