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Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission and the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic at the University of Washington will host a Town Hall meeting on July 24, 2008, to explore the growth of contactless payment systems and their implications for consumer protection policy. This Town Hall, titled “Pay on the Go: Consumers and Contactless Payment“ follows up on the FTC‘s November 2006 hearings, “Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade,“ which examined key technological and business developments that will shape consumers‘ experiences over the next ten years.

This Town Hall meeting will bring together industry members, technologists, academicians, consumer protection officials, and consumer advocates to explore the current state of the art for contactless payment systems, which use radio frequency identification (“RFID“) technology to allow consumers to make low dollar-value purchases by holding an RFID-enabled device (such as a smart card, key fob, or mobile device) in proximity to a reader. The event will explore the extent to which contactless payment is being deployed domestically and around the world, along with potential benefits and risks to consumers of its use.

Participants will examine the increasing prevalence of contactless payment devices in everyday consumer transactions, including credit card purchases and public transit use; consumer awareness and education initiatives regarding these developments; security and privacy threats and proposed solutions; and emerging technologies and practices that may shape the contactless payment marketplace over the coming years.

The Commission invites interested parties to submit a request to be a panelist and to recommend other related topics for discussion. The requests should be submitted electronically to by June 6, 2008, and should include information about the proposed panelist‘s expertise, together with complete contact information. The Commission will select panelists based on expertise and the need to represent a range of views about the issues. For questions, contact staff at

Interested parties also may submit written comments on the topics to be addressed at the Town Hall by August 15, 2008, in the manner specified below.

The Town Hall, which will be free and open to the public, will be held in Room 133 of the University of Washington School of Law's William H. Gates Hall, located at 15th Avenue NE & NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA.

Information about accessibility for persons with disabilities on the UW campus is available at Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to or by calling Carrie McGlothlin at (202) 326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

  • Event Materials

    Video file
  • Request for Comments

    FILING A COMMENT — Deadline: EXTENDED until August 15, 2008

    Any person also may submit written comments on the topics to be addressed at the Town Hall. Comments should refer to “Pay on the Go - Comment, Project No. P059106” to facilitate the organization of comments.

    To File Electronically:

    Follow the instructions and fill out the form at

    To File in Paper Form:

    A comment filed in paper form should include the reference to “Pay on the Go - Comment, Project No. P059106” in both the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address:

    Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Room H-135 (Annex T)
    Washington, DC 20580

    The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

    To Request Confidential Treatment:

    To request confidential treatment, you must file in paper form and clearly label the first page of the document with “Confidential” and comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). 15 C.F.R. § 4.9(c).

    Comments must be received by COB June 20, 2008.

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate.  Under the Freedom of Information Act or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register.  For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s Privacy Act system for public records and comprehensive privacy policy.

This event will be open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded.  By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.