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The Federal Trade Commission and the California Office of Privacy Protection will co-host a half-day public workshop in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 13, 2008, on how businesses can secure personal information and protect the privacy of consumers and employees.

The workshop, "Protecting Personal Information: Best Practices for Business," is presented in partnership with the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. It features business people, attorneys, government officials, privacy officers, and other experts who will provide practical guidance for businesses of all sizes on data security, privacy, best practices for developing an appropriate data security program, and responding to data breaches and other privacy and security problems.

The FTC and COPP will provide a brief overview of the business and legal reasons to address data security.

  • The first panel will discuss steps and strategies for developing a data security plan. Speakers include Barbara Lawler, Chief Privacy Officer, Intuit; Eric Nelson, Principal, Secure Privacy Solutions; Jill Phillips, Chief Privacy Officer, Chevron; Shai Samet, President and Founder, Samet Privacy LLC; Andrew Serwin, Partner, Foley & Lardner.
  • The second panel will address best practices for responding to data breaches. Speakers include James Aquilina, Executive Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel, Stroz Friedberg, LLC; Jonathan Avila, Vice President, Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer, The Walt Disney Co.; Lt. Robert (Rocky) Costa, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Southern California High Tech Crimes Task Force; Reece Hirsch, Partner, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP; and Richard Purcell, Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Privacy Group. Speakers will discuss checklists and sample business documents.

The workshop follows a recommendation from the President's Identity Theft Task Force, co-chaired by the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, which called on federal agencies to improve their efforts to educate the private sector on safeguarding consumers. A report issued by the Task Force recommended regional seminars to help small businesses and others in the business community understand the importance of safeguarding information, preventing and reporting data breaches, and assisting identity theft victims. Read the report.

The workshop will be held in the Ronald Reagan State Building, starting at 9:30 a.m. It is free and open to the public. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

As part of its business education program, the FTC has information to help businesses develop their own data security plans, including an online tutorial, a booklet, and a series of articles suitable for reprinting in print or electronic newsletters. All are available at

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.

(FYI data security)

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