President Joe Biden will nominate Georgetown University law professor and privacy law expert Alvaro Bedoya as a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, according to a Bloomberg report that cited a person familiar with the situation.
If approved, Bedoya — the leader of the Center of Privacy & Technology at Georgetown’s law school — would replace Rohit Chopra as FTC commissioner. Chopra has been nominated to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Tech policy organization Public Knowledge told Bloomberg that Bedoya is a “fierce advocate for consumer privacy” and applauded his work related to surveillance and facial recognition and the effects it can have on people of color.
Bedoya was among the authors of a 2016 report on the privacy and civil liberty risks related to police using facial recognition technology on their beats.
“He’s blazed a trail in holding big tech accountable and has spent his career fighting on behalf of the powerless, particularly those in immigrant communities,” Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director for Public Knowledge, said in a statement.
Before Bedoya came to Georgetown University, he was the chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s privacy subcommittee, where he focused on issues related to mobile location privacy and biometrics and helped draft legislation, his Georgetown online biography says.
Recently, the FTC filed an administrative complaint against fuel card company FleetCor for allegedly charging customers “hundreds of millions of dollars” in “mystery fees” connected to their cards. FleetCor’s records show that most customers have not reached the advertised savings by using the company’s cards, according to the complaint.
The commission filed a complaint in December 2019 saying FleetCor billed hundreds of millions in hidden charges to its clients in the form of unexpected fees. The case stemmed from thousands of complaints about FleetCor sent to the Better Business Bureau.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the FTC could not seek redress for consumers under section 13(b) of the FTC Act, so the FTC filed a new complaint citing a different section of the same act.