FTC to Host Workshop to Explore Consumer Protection and Privacy Implications of Radio Frequency Identification Applications

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a “Transatlantic RFID Workshop on Consumer Privacy and Data Security” on September 23, 2008, to explore emerging applications of radio frequency identification technology and their implications for consumer protection policy. The workshop will bring together industry representatives, government officials, and consumer advocates from Europe and the United States to discuss security and privacy concerns associated with RFID technology. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Federal Trade Commission Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.,Washington, DC 20001. Members of the public and press who wish to participate, but are unable to attend in person, can view a live webcast on the FTC’s Web site.

The workshop is being held in conjunction with the September 22, 2008 “Transatlantic Symposium on the Societal Benefits of RFID,” sponsored by the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, the European-American Business Council, and EPCGlobal, with the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission.

Workshop participants will discuss the increasing prevalence of contactless payment devices in everyday consumer transactions, including credit card purchases and public transit, as well as the growing use of item-level tagging in the retail sector. The workshop will examine consumer awareness and education initiatives regarding these developments; security and privacy threats and proposed solutions; and emerging technologies and practices that may shape the marketplace in the coming years.

Following the FTC workshop, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in cooperation with the European Commission, will host a “matchmaking” event for U.S. and European companies, at which new transatlantic RFID partnerships and technical exchanges will be explored.

Interested parties may also submit written comments or original research until October 23, 2008. Comments should refer to “Transatlantic RFID Workshop – Comment, Project No. P059106.” To file electronically, follow the instructions and fill out the form at: http://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-TransatlanticRFID. Paper comments should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex R), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). The FTC is requesting that any paper comments be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

The Conference Center is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need an accommodation related to a disability, please call Carrie McGlothin at 202-326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodations needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, click https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call 1-877-382-4357. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For free information on a variety of consumer topics, click http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.

(transatlantic)

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