FTC to Host Public Workshop on Consumer Information Security


The Federal Trade Commission will host a two-day public workshop to explore issues related to the security of consumers' computers and the personal information stored in them or in company databases. A Federal Register Notice to be published shortly states that the workshop will take place in Washington May 20 and 21, 2002.

"The security of consumers' home computers is an issue of growing importance," the notice says. "As consumers use their computers as repositories for sensitive information such as passwords, financial records, and health information, the potential destruction or disclosure of that information is a cause for concern."

"Another aspect of consumer security is whether consumers' personal information held by businesses is secure," according to the notice. "Should a hacker gain access to a business' customer credit card database, for example, that intrusion may not only have serious consequences for that particular business, but may also affect consumers' willingness to engage in e-commerce generally."

The topics to be addressed at the workshop include:

  • The Current State of Information Security;
  • Security Issues Relating to Consumers' Home Information Systems;
  • Security Issues for Businesses that Maintain Consumers' Personal Information;
  • Emerging Business Models, Technologies, and Best Practices; and
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Security Guidelines.

The event is open to the public and there is no fee for attendance. However, attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register, as seating will be limited. Interested parties can pre-register by e-mailing their name and affiliation by April 29, 2002, to securityworkshop@ftc.gov. Additional information about the workshop can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/securityworkshop.

The Commission vote to approve the Federal Register Notice was 5-0.

Copies of the Federal Register Notice are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov . The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181
Staff Contact:
Mark Eichorn or Jessica Rich
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3053 or 202-326-2148