The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has appointed Ashkan Soltani, an independent researcher specialising in security and privacy, as the agency’s new chief technologist.
As reported by The Washington Post, the commission, which operates as an independent consumer protection agency within the US government, has served as a privacy watchdog in recent years by levelling large settlements against major tech firms for violating privacy laws.
Soltani is perhaps best known for his work as an investigative journalist on the The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning reports on information revealed by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“I am pleased to welcome Ashkan to our talented team where he will play a vital role in continuing our important work on behalf of American consumers,” said FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement.
“Technology and online and mobile platforms are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace and will remain a key focus for the FTC as more and more consumers adopt mobile devices and tablets.”
Speaking about the appointment, The Washington Post's executive editor Marty Baron added, “Ashkan has been a tremendous contributor to our journalism, helping us navigate some of the most important, sensitive, and complex subjects of our time. We are incredibly sorry to lose him as a colleague, but we understand fully why his talents would be coveted by others. We wish him well.”
Soltani previously worked with the FTC between 2010 and 2011 as a staff technologist.
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