REMARKS OF COMMISSIONER MOZELLE W. THOMPSON
FTC Workshop on the Mobile Wireless Web, Data Services and Beyond
December 12, 2000
Welcome back to the FTC for this second day of our workshop on mobile wireless technologies. I have long followed the development of wireless technology, and I have previously spoken about the impact of new information delivery platforms on the future relationship between industry and consumers.
I am sorry that I am not able to join you, but if I carried a satellite phone or a global positioning system, perhaps you=d be able to find out that I was somewhere in the Hague talking about on-line ADR. And that=s one of the wireless privacy problems you will be talking about today.
Yesterday, we all had the chance to learn about the breadth of exciting business and technological opportunities presented by the wireless world. These opportunities are not expected at some time in the distant future; instead, they are at our doorstep right now. But, we also learned that these opportunities pose important challenges, and today we will focus on some of these challenges and how they should be addressed.
More specifically, we will examine three topics that are particularly relevant as wireless technologies develop: privacy; security; and the form that advertising will take in this new medium. The Commission has examined these issues -- and how they relate to the FTC=s core consumer protection mandate -- in the context of online commerce. Now, we are seeking to learn about how they will develop in the mobile world.
This workshop provides a forum for all of us to get to know the companies and issues involved in creating these products and services, and to engage in an interactive dialog between government, industry, and consumer advocates about how these issues should be addressed.
I think we all recognize that this is a rapidly changing area. Accordingly, our responses should be creative, flexible and organic -- built with an ability to embrace change. At the same time, however, I hope that we will have laid the foundation for a continuing discussion of these issues in the coming months.
Thank you again for coming and I hope that you find the workshop fun, informative and thought-provoking.