FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Technologies for Protecting Personal Information:
Technologies for Protecting Personal Information:
ACTION: Notice Announcing Two Public Workshops and Requesting Public Comment and Participation.
SUMMARY: The FTC is planning to host two public workshops to explore the role of technology in helping consumers and businesses protect the privacy of their personal information, including the steps taken to keep their information secure. Workshop 1 will focus on technological tools available to consumers and whether and how consumers are using them. Workshop 2 will focus on how businesses use technology to manage their information practices and provide security.
DATES: Workshop 1, The Consumer Experience, will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2003, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the Federal Trade Commission's Satellite Building now located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Workshop 2, The Business Experience, will occur on Wednesday, June 4, 2003, also in the Satellite Building. The events are open to the public and attendance is free of charge. Pre-registration is not required.
REQUESTS TO PARTICIPATE AS A PANELIST: As discussed below, written requests to participate as a panelist in either or both of the workshops must be filed on or before Wednesday, March 26, 2003. Persons filing requests to participate as a panelist will be notified on or before Wednesday, April 9, 2003, if they have been selected to participate.
WRITTEN COMMENTS: Whether or not selected to participate, persons may submit written comments on the Questions to be Addressed at the workshop. Such comments must be filed on or before Wednesday, April 23, 2003. For further instructions on submitting comments and requests to participate, please see the "Form and Availability of Comments" and "Requests to Participate as a Panelist in the Workshop" sections below. To read our policy on how we handle the information you may submit, please visit www.ftc.gov/techworkshop.
ADDRESSES: Written comments and requests to participate as a panelist in the workshop should be submitted to: Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room 159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Alternatively, they may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Toby Milgrom Levin, Division of Financial Practices, 202-326-3713, or James A. Silver, Division of Financial Practices, 202-326-3708. The above staff can be reached by mail at: Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
Background and Proposed Agenda
Since 1995, the FTC has sought to understand the many consumer issues raised by the collection and use of consumers' personal information in our fast-changing information economy. Commission workshops have examined the privacy issues raised by the use of this information and, more recently, the important and complementary role that security plays in providing meaningful protections for it. The Commission has also undertaken a wide variety of education and enforcement initiatives to reduce the harms caused by the disclosure of personal information, such as identity theft, unwarranted intrusions, violations of privacy promises, and breaches of customer databases. As part of this ongoing examination, the Commission is announcing two workshops designed to explore the role of technology in protecting personal information.
Technology has been widely heralded as a promising solution to challenges that the collection and use of information present. A number of products promise to help consumers control their sensitive information and guard against internal and external threats. Similarly, there are an increasing number of products designed to help businesses manage the consumer information they maintain and ensure that it is secure. Despite the widespread availability of these products, however, it is unclear just how much consumers and businesses are using them and whether they are meeting consumer and business needs in this area. Therefore, as more and more consumers share personal information online and use "always on" Internet connections, it is useful to examine the current role that technology plays in protecting consumers' personal information.
The workshops being announced will examine, first, the role technology plays for consumers seeking to protect their own information and, second, the role it plays for businesses seeking to protect the consumer information that they maintain. Both workshops will also examine the changes that have been made in the security area since the Federal Trade Commission's May 2002 workshop on consumer information security.
Questions to be addressed at the workshops may include:
A. Workshop 1
Technologies for Protecting Personal Information: The Consumer Experience
B. Workshop 2
Technologies for Protecting Personal Information: The Business Experience
Requests to Participate as a Panelist in the Workshop
Parties seeking to participate as panelists in the workshop must notify the FTC in writing of their interest in participating on or before Wednesday, March 26, 2003, either by mail to the Secretary of the FTC or by email to email@example.com. Requests to participate as a panelist should be captioned "Technology Workshop - Request to Participate, P034808." Parties are asked to include in their requests a statement setting forth their expertise in or knowledge of the issues on which the workshop will focus and their contact information, including a telephone number, facsimile number, and email address (if available), to enable the FTC to notify them if they are selected. An original and two copies of each document should be submitted. Panelists will be notified on or before Wednesday, April 9, 2003, whether they have been selected.
Using the following criteria, FTC staff will select a limited number of panelists to participate in the workshop. The number of parties selected will not be so large as to inhibit effective discussion among them.
In addition, there will be time during
the workshop for those not serving as panelists to ask questions.
The FTC requests that interested parties submit written comments on the above questions to foster greater understanding of the issues. Especially useful are any studies, surveys, research, and empirical data. Comments should be captioned "Technology Workshop - Comment, P034808," and must be filed on or before Wednesday, April 23, 2003.
Parties sending written comments should submit an original and two copies of each document. To enable prompt review and public access, paper submissions should include a version on diskette in PDF, ASCII, WordPerfect, or Microsoft Word format. Diskettes should be labeled with the name of the party, and the name and version of the word processing program used to create the document. Alternatively, comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written comments will be available for public inspection in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, and FTC regulations, 16 CFR part 4.9, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Public Reference Room 130, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. This notice and, to the extent technologically possible, all comments will also be posted on the FTC website at www.ftc.gov/techworkshop.
By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark