Professor Paul Ohm Named Advisor to Federal Trade Commission

May 21, 2012

University of Colorado Law School Associate Professor Paul Ohm will serve in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a senior policy advisor for consumer protection and competition issues affecting the Internet and mobile markets.

Professor Ohm will take a leave of absence to serve at the FTC and begin his new position on August 27 in the agency’s Office of Policy Planning, which focuses on the development and implementation of long-range competition and consumer protection policy initiatives, and advises staff on cases raising new or complex policy and legal issues.

“Paul’s keen insights on how the law applies to technology and privacy issues will be invaluable to the FTC’s work in these areas,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  “We have been fortunate in bringing in a series top-notch experts to advise us on cutting-edge issues and enhance our in-house expertise.  We look forward to having Paul on board.”

Professor Ohm specializes in information privacy, computer crime law, intellectual property, and criminal procedure, with a particular focus on building new connections between law and computer science. Much of his work has examined how evolving technology disrupts individual privacy. His 2010 article, Broken Promises of Privacy: Responding to the Surprising Failure of Anonymization, has sparked an international debate about the impact on privacy of significant recent advances in data analytics.

”I am honored to have received this appointment,” Professor Ohm said. “The FTC is the focal point for so many of the important information privacy debates taking place today. I hope to help the Commissioners and staff of this great agency continue the important work they have done to protect consumers online.”

His appointment to the FTC will mark the second time Professor Ohm will serve the government focusing on privacy, as he previously worked on similar issues as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

“Paul Ohm is at the forefront of privacy scholarship and already a leader of his generation in the field,” said Phil Weiser, dean of the University of Colorado Law School.  “At the Silicon Flatirons Center, Paul is the leader on Information Technology and Intellectual Property issues and has established the center a formidable presence on privacy and Internet policy issues.  We will miss him dearly at Colorado Law, but we respect his commitment to public service and will look forward to his return.”