On November 17, 2021, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held its confirmation hearing on FTC Commissioner nominee, Alvaro Bedoya.
During his testimony, Bedoya indicated that, if confirmed as FTC Commissioner, he would focus his work on data privacy issues. Bedoya specifically referenced his support for an update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to include teens, and a potential FTC rulemaking related to data protection. Bedoya also advocated for increased scrutiny of facial recognition technology, which he has openly criticized the use of for law enforcement purposes. Bedoya did, however, indicate that he supports the use of facial recognition technology for other uses, such as identity verification, if the data is collected with transparency and with individuals’ informed consent.
Bedoya also expressed support for a change that would allow only one FTC Commissioner, as opposed to a majority of Commissioners, to authorize an investigation under the FTC’s civil investigative demand power.
UPDATE: On December 1, 2021, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted to advance Bedoya’s nomination to the FTC. The Committee vote was deadlocked 14-14, but under certain rules the nomination nonetheless can proceed to the full Senate for a vote.
UPDATE 2: On January 4, 2022, President Biden resubmitted his nomination for Bedoya to serve as FTC Commissioner. The Senate vote had expired end of last year.
UPDATE 3: On March 3, 2022, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation again deadlocked 14-14 in its vote on Bedoya’s nomination. As we previously reported, however, the nomination still can proceed to the full Senate for a vote.
UPDATE 4: On May 11, 2022, the full Senate confirmed Bedoya as FTC Commissioner. Bedoya will serve a term of seven years from September 26, 2019, as he replaces former FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra.