New FTC chief technologist worked on Snowden docs

The Federal Trade Commission appointed a new chief technologist who previously worked as a security advisor and technical expert at The Washington Post, co-authoring some stories based on leaks by Edward Snowden. 

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Ashkan Soltani was appointed Tuesday by FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez to replace Latanya Sweeney, who is stepping down to return to Harvard University. 

After a year at the FTC, Sweeney will return to Harvard's Data Privacy Lab, which she founded. 

"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,” Ramirez said in a statement

In 2013 alone, Soltani worked as a consultant for the Post, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the FTC and a number of state attorneys general. He has worked as a consultant and researcher on technology, privacy and behavior economics for more than 20 years, according to his biography. 

He previously worked as a staff technologist at the FTC from 2010 to 2011.

 

Barton Gellman, the lead writer for many of the Snowden stories that won the Post a Pulizer Prize, said the news is "worth celebrating" in a tweet Tuesday.