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Advocates Welcome Biden Picking Bedoya for FTC

Consumer advocates praised President Joe Biden’s nomination of Alvaro Bedoya as FTC commissioner. He’s expected to replace Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who awaits Senate confirmation to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The White House made its announcement at around 4 p.m. EDT Monday, and the advocates' comments came beforehand.

Bedoya is founding director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology. He previously worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee as chief counsel for the Privacy Subcommittee. His work includes projects on face-scanning technology, biometrics and mobile location privacy.

Public Citizen Digital Rights Advocate Emily Peterson-Cassin said Bedoya's “expertise on the effect of data extraction on marginalized communities will help the FTC return human privacy and dignity to its rightful place in our surveillance economy.” His research “revealed how Big Data is used to facilitate oppressive surveillance and racial discrimination against the most vulnerable,” said Public Knowledge Competition Policy Director Charlotte Slaiman Monday. Biden is “doubling down on his commitment to breaking Big Tech’s power and control,” said Open Markets Institute Executive Director Barry Lynn, noting Bedoya's experience helping to develop net neutrality rules in 2015. Bedoya will push “for smart and bold policies at this reinvigorated agency and ensure that the impacts and needs of immigrants and communities of color are a priority,” said Free Press CEO Craig Aaron. “He has long been a trusted and strategic ally across the public-interest community, skills that will serve him well in this new role.”

The FTC and Bedoya had declined comment earlier Monday.