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. 


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.