Staff of The Federal Trade Commission released a summary and update of the proceedings of its December 2000 workshop titled, "The Mobile Wireless Web, Data Services and Beyond: Emerging Technologies and Consumer Issues." A transcript of the entire two-day proceeding and a list of workshop participants is available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/wireless/.
The Workshop addressed five topics: (1) an overview of the technologies; (2) privacy issues raised by these technologies; (3) security issues; (4) advertising and disclosures in the wireless area; and (5) self-regulatory programs.
The summary concludes that the workshop proved useful in identifying issues that warrant continuing attention as wireless technologies develop. "Participants generally agreed that privacy, security, and advertising issues are significant concerns in the wireless environment," the summary says. As a result, many participants agreed that consumers should be given some form of control over personally identifiable information collected and used in this context. While self-regulatory groups already have established guidelines that address some of the privacy issues, FTC staff concludes that more guidance may be helpful to companies seeking to implement them, the report says.
"The wireless devices and services discussed at the workshop are exciting new products and services for consumers. The FTC will continue to monitor their development, along with the privacy, security, advertising, and other consumer protection issues they raise," the summary says.
Copies of the summary 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.
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