FTC to Host Public Roundtables to Address Evolving Consumer Privacy Issues

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a series of day-long public roundtable discussions to explore the privacy challenges posed by the vast array of 21st century technology and business practices that collect and use consumer data. Such practices include social networking, cloud computing, online behavioral advertising, mobile marketing, and the collection and use of information by retailers, data brokers, third-party applications, and other diverse businesses. The goal of the roundtables is to determine how best to protect consumer privacy while supporting beneficial uses of the information and technological innovation.

The roundtable discussions will consider the risks and benefits of information collection and use in online and offline contexts, consumer expectations surrounding various information management practices, and the adequacy of existing legal and self-regulatory regimes to address privacy interests. Roundtable participants will include stakeholders representing a wide rangeof views and experiences, such as academics, privacy experts, consumer advocates, industry participants and associations, technology experts, legislators, international representatives, and others.

The Privacy Roundtables are free and open to the public. The first will be held Monday, December 7, 2009, at the FTC Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Pre-registration is not required. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend can view a live Webcast at FTC.gov. The Commission plans to convene additional roundtables in subsequent months, and will post information regarding these events at a later date.

Individuals and organizations may submit requests to participate as panelists and may recommend topics for inclusion on the agenda. The requests and recommendations should be submitted electronically to privacyroundtable@ftc.gov. Prospective panelists should submit a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed and contact information, no later than October 30, 2009. Panelists will be selected based on expertise and the need to include a broad range of views.

The Commission also invites interested parties to submit written comments or original research. A list of specific questions to inform the first roundtable discussions is available at the Commission’s Web site at www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/privacyroundtables/. The Commission will post additional questions to inform subsequent roundtable discussions at a later date.

Comments should refer to “Privacy Roundtables – Comment, Project No. P095416.” To file electronically, follow the instructions and fill out the form at
https://public.commentworks.com/ftc/privacyroundtable1. Paper comments should include the above reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex P), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material, however, must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). The FTC requests that any paper comments be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to cmcglothlin@ftc.gov or by calling Carrie McGlothlin at 202-326-3388. Requests should be made in advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed, and provide contact information.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers 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, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(Privacy Roundtable)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180
STAFF CONTACT:
Christopher Olsen
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3621

Loretta Garrison
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3043