Government // Mobile & Wireless
News
11/5/2010
02:52 PM
50%
50%

FTC Names Felten Chief Technologist

Princeton computer science and public affairs professor Edward Felten is expected to focus on security and privacy.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters

Edward W. Felten has been named Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission, in a sign that the regulatory agency intends to heighten its involvement in the national debate on security and privacy.

A professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, Felten is also the founding director of Princeton’s Center for Information Policy. Felten’s background in the most sophisticated and arcane segments of computing began with his Phd thesis on developing an automated protocol for communication among parallel processors.

Somewhat of a gadfly, he hasn’t shirked from criticizing powerful high-tech companies, tangling with Microsoft over its browser and Intel over encryption codes. In addition, he was a key player on a team of computer scientists who demonstrated how voting machines could be hacked using novel techniques.

Famously, Felten equated Apple’s popular iPad with Disneyland. Comparing the iPad with Disneyland, he wrote on his blog shortly after the iPad was unveiled:

“To me, the iPad is Disneyland. I like to visit Disneyland, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Felten went on to discuss Apple’s tight control over its iPad universe and said: “The iPad, like Disneyland, will continue to be an island of central planning in a sea of decentralized innovation.” His appointment at the FTC is for one year, and early indications are that he will focus on privacy and security issues.

"(Felten’s) going to add unparalleled expertise on high-technology markets and computer security," said FTC chairman Jon Liebowitz in a statement. "And he will also provide invaluable input into the recommendations we’ll be making soon for online privacy, as well as the enforcement actions we’ll soon bring to protect consumer privacy." Already serving as a part-time consultant for the FTC, Felten’s appointment as Chief Technologist will begin in January.

SEE ALSO:

Intel Confirms HDCP Encryption Key Leak

E-Voting Takes Another Hit

Apple Alone Is Dumber Than Everybody

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.