Ashkan Soltani has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and researcher focused on technology, privacy, and behavioural economics. His work draws attention to privacy problems online, demystifies technology for the non-technically inclined, and provides data-driven insights to help inform policy. Soltani’s research examines the prevalence of online tracking and exposes practices designed to circumvent consumer privacy choices.
Soltani is a co-author of the Washington Post’s NSA series that was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, a 2014 Loeb Award, and a 2013 Polk Award for National Security Reporting. He was also a researcher for the 2009 Pulitzer-winning story, One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex, and the technical consultant for the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series, which was a finalist for 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and won the 2010 Loeb Award for “Online Enterprise”.
Soltani has served as a technical expert to a number of consumer protection agencies, including the FTC and State Attorneys General. In 2015, he was appointed as the Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission where he helped establish the agency’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation. He has helped lead investigations into Google, Facebook, Twitter, HTC, and PulsePoint. In the past, he has served on the Technical Advisory Board for the Freedom of the Press Foundation.