President Biden made his newest nomination to the Federal Commerce Fee this week, tapping digital privateness knowledgeable Alvaro Bedoya to affix the company because it takes a tough have a look at the tech business.
Bedoya is the founding director of the Heart on Privateness & Expertise at Georgetown’s legislation college and beforehand served as chief counsel for former Senator Al Franken and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privateness, Expertise, and the Legislation. Bedoya has labored on laws addressing among the most urgent privateness points in tech, together with stalkerware and facial recognition techniques.
In 2016, Bedoya co-authored a report titled “The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” a year-long investigation that dove deeply into the police use of facial recognition techniques within the U.S. The 2016 report examined legislation enforcement’s reliance on facial recognition techniques and biometric databases on a state stage. It argued that rules are desperately wanted to curtail potential abuses and algorithmic failures earlier than the know-how inevitably turns into much more commonplace.
Bedoya additionally isn’t shy about calling out Massive Tech. In a New York Occasions op-ed a couple of years in the past, he took goal at Silicon Valley firms giving consumer privateness lip service in public whereas quietly funneling tens of millions towards lobbyists to undermine shopper privateness. The brand new FTC nominee singled out Fb particularly, pointing to the corporate’s efforts to undermine the Illinois Biometric Info Privateness Act, a state legislation that serves as one of many solely significant checks on invasive privateness practices within the U.S.
Bedoya argued that the tech business would have a neater time shaping a single, sweeping piece of privateness rules with its lobbying efforts moderately than a flurry of focused, smaller payments. Antitrust advocates in Congress taking goal at tech in the present day appear to have discovered that very same lesson as effectively.
“We can not underestimate the tech sector’s energy in Congress and in state legislatures,” Bedoya wrote. “If america tries to cross broad guidelines for private knowledge, that effort might be co-opted by Silicon Valley, and we’ll miss our greatest shot at significant privateness protections.”
If confirmed, Bedoya would be part of large tech critic Lina Khan, a latest Biden FTC nominee who now chairs the company. Khan’s give attention to antitrust and Amazon particularly would dovetail with Bedoya’s give attention to adjoining privateness issues, making the pair a formidable regulatory presence because the Biden administration seeks to rein in among the tech business’s most damaging excesses.
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