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After Buffalo, Media and Tech Can’t Look Away Any Longer

This tragedy should be a catalyst to a fundamental reckoning.
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WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Alvaro Bedoya to serve as a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission. A longtime public-interest advocate, Bedoya is the founding director of the Center for Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law and a former member of the Free Press board of directors.

Bedoya had faced opposition from Republican lawmakers and lobbyists representing the interests of tech, media and telecom industries. His confirmation will give the FTC’s Democratic majority the votes it needs to craft enhanced privacy protections for users of online platforms and adopt other safeguards against abusive and discriminatory data practices.

Free Press Action Co-CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“We’ve waited for more than a year for a fully functional FTC — far too long given the important work before the agency. But today we celebrate the arrival of a true public-interest champion in this key role.

“Alvaro Bedoya's appointment will finally allow this vital and reinvigorated agency to get to work on protecting people, promoting competition and holding powerful companies accountable. he has devoted his career to protecting people’s privacy against predatory data brokers, and safeguarding everyone’s rights to equal opportunity. Bedoya knows how to protect internet users against the worst harms of tech companies like Google and Meta. In particular, we look forward to working with him and the other FTC commissioners on efforts to remedy extractive and discriminatory data abuses.

“Now we urge the Senate to move with the greatest urgency to fill other key regulatory roles that have been vacant since President Biden took office — starting with a vote as soon as possible to confirm Gigi Sohn as FCC commissioner. An industry-backed smear campaign aimed at hobbling the FCC has obstructed progress on Sohn’s nomination for more than six months. Any further delay will only harm the administration’s priorities and leave media, tech and telecom companies without crucial oversight and accountability."

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