Biden to Nominate Privacy Advocate Alvaro Bedoya for FTC Seat


President Joe Biden is set to nominate Alvaro Bedoya, a privacy advocate and professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, Politico reports.

Two unnamed sources familiar with the White House’s planning confirmed the decision to Politico, though it has yet to be officially confirmed. If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Bedoya, a specialist in privacy law and the founder of Georgetown’s Center on Privacy & Technology, would replace outgoing Democrat Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who has been selected to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Bedoya previously worked as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, where he worked to coordinate oversight hearings regarding the tracking of mobile location data and biometric information.

FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, told The Washington Post that he didn’t always agree with Bedoya but described him as “without fail as bright and thoughtful a person as you could find.”

Phillips added, “I don’t think of him as a person who just gets up and rants about entities he doesn’t like,” noting that Bedoya “thinks about the impacts of practices that concern him, engages with people who have views about those practices, and helps maps out a way forward.”

Jeffrey Zubricki, a veteran Senate staffer who previously worked with Bedoya and is now overseeing government relations with the marketplace website Etsy, said that Bedoya has “never seen privacy as a left or right issue, but as a core civil protection and civil rights concern in a way that can pull together both sides. There’s a whole generation of staffers he’s influenced that are still up there today.”