FTC appoints EFF board member Lorrie Cranor as Chief Technologist

She will succeed the renowned privacy and security expert Ashkan Soltani.

federal trade commission
Credit: John Tailor/Flickr

The US Federal Trade Commission has taken a big step toward privacy and security by appointing Lorrie Faith Cranor as Chief Technologist. Cranor wears many hats; she is the director of the Carnegie Mellon Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory and a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Board of Directors. She was previously a researcher at AT&T Labs Research and has also taught at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

She will succeed Ashkan Soltani at the FTC.  Soltani is a privacy and security expert who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as part of the team at The Washington Post and The Guardian for their coverage of NSA surveillance and Edward Snowden. And in Cranor, Soltani is getting a rightful successor.

Cranor has written many, many papers on online privacy and usable security issues, including  topics like movie piracy as insider jobs, bad passwords, securing the digital home. She has played a critical role in establishing the usable privacy and security research community and founded the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security.

Since the primary goal of the FTC is to ‘prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace,’ Cranon’s appointment sends a very strong message to the industry.

In an interview with TribLive she said, “Companies add more rules, which does not always make websites more secure,” Cranon said.

“Technology is playing an ever more important role in consumers’ lives, whether through mobile devices, personal fitness trackers, or the increasing array of Internet-connected devices we find in homes and elsewhere,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “We are delighted to welcome Lorrie to our team, where she will play a key role in helping guide the many areas of FTC work involving new technologies and platforms.

Cranor will join the FTC staff in January and will be advising FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and the Commission on developing technology and policy matters.

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