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Federal Trade Commission Appoints New Chief Technologist

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency whose goal is to protect America’s consumers, has appointed Ashkan Soltani as chief technologist.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency whose goal is to protect America’s consumers, has appointed Ashkan Soltani as chief technologist.

Soltani, a technology consultant and researcher specializing in security and privacy, will take up his role as chief technologist in November. He is no stranger to working with the FTC since he previously served as a technical expert for the agency and, between 2010 and 2011, he worked as a staff technologist in the organization’s Privacy and Identity Protections division.

In his new role, Soltani will advise the FTC on evolving technology and policy matters.

“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,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez commented. “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.”

In the past, Soltani worked as a technical expert for multiple state attorneys general, as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and as a researcher for The New York Times. Soltani was part of the Washington Post team that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks.

He also acted as senior professional services consultant at Sophos and security practice manager at Mirapoint.

Soltani holds a master’s degree in Information Management and Systems from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Soltani takes the place of Dr. Latanya Sweeney, who is returning to Harvard University, where she leads the Data Privacy Lab.

“I am very grateful to Latanya Sweeney for her outstanding work and public service on behalf of consumers, and particularly for her leadership in strengthening the Commission’s efforts to better protect sensitive consumer information,” Ramirez said.

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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