President Biden plans to nominate Alvaro Bedoya, an online privacy expert, for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, putting a critic of the technology industry in a key position to regulate the sector, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Mr. Bedoya is a lawyer who has studied the way new technologies can violate privacy. He was an author of a 2016 report that called for Congress to more closely regulate the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement. And he was previously the top lawyer on the privacy subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If he is confirmed, Mr. Bedoya will join an agency that is primed to take aggressive action against the technology industry and other corporate giants. The agency’s chair, Lina Khan, is a legal scholar who has argued for regulations that would rein in Silicon Valley’s power over commerce and personal data.

“He’s blazed a trail in holding Big Tech accountable and has spent his career fighting on behalf of the powerless, particularly those in immigrant communities,” Charlotte Slaiman, the director of competition policy at the pro-regulation think tank Public Knowledge, said in a statement. “His scholarship and advocacy revealed how Big Data is used to facilitate oppressive surveillance and racial discrimination against the most vulnerable.”

Mr. Biden will nominate Mr. Bedoya to the seat currently held by Rohit Chopra, an avowed progressive who the president has nominated to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Mr. Bedoya declined to comment. His expected nomination was first reported by Axios.

By Reuters

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