The desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and wireless wearable. Perhaps the only device we used yesterday that wasn’t connected to the internet was the crockpot. And it may know more than it’s telling.
The FTC first considered how businesses combine and exchange consumer information for marketing purposes in 2001. We continued throughout that decade with our usual trifecta: policy research, law enforcement, and education. The hot topic now is cross-device tracking – how companies track consumers’ activities across different devices for various purposes, including advertising and marketing. That’s the subject of an FTC workshop on November 16, 2015, at the FTC’s Constitution Center offices, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public.
To help us consider the consumer protection implications, we’re asking for your feedback on a series of questions:
- What’s the state of the art? How are companies tracking consumers across different devices?
- What are the pros and cons for consumers and advertisers?
- What does the privacy and security landscape look like?
- How can companies be more transparent about what they’re doing?
- What can be done to give consumers more control?
- How do existing industry self-regulatory programs apply?
To help us set the agenda, please send your comments by October 16, 2015.