On September 13, 2021, President Biden nominated Alvaro Bedoya for Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to replace outgoing FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra. Earlier this year, President Biden nominated Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). If confirmed, Bedoya would round out the slate of FTC commissioners and solidify the agency’s Democratic majority.
Bedoya is the founding director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law Center, where he is a visiting professor of law. He has a background in privacy law and policy, with a special interest in facial recognition technology. Bedoya’s work on facial recognition technology led the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct the first comprehensive bias audit of face recognition algorithms and paved the way for a federal law that requires bias testing in airport face recognition systems, Section 1919 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Previously, Bedoya served as the first chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.
Naming a nominee with a strong background in privacy to serve on the FTC is consistent with the Administration’s support for strengthening privacy and cybersecurity. This commitment is reflected in the Build Back Better Act, which earmarks $1 billion to create a new privacy bureau within the FTC dedicated to stopping unfair and deceptive acts and practices related to privacy violations, data security incidents, identity theft, and other data abuses.