FTC Announces Workshop on Informational Injury

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For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop on December 12, 2017, to examine questions about the injury consumers suffer when information about them is misused.

As the nation’s primary federal privacy and data security enforcement agency, the FTC has brought more than 500 privacy and data security-related cases, which have focused on deceptive and unfair business practices that cause or are likely to cause consumer injury.

The workshop will address questions such as how to best characterize these injuries, how to accurately measure such injuries and their prevalence, and what factors businesses and consumers consider when evaluating the tradeoffs involved in collecting, using, or providing information while also potentially increasing their exposure to injuries.

“Information flows of all kinds are vital to our economy, but the increased collection and use of consumers' information carries some risk for consumers when that information is misused,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. “This workshop is aimed at helping us to better identify and measure the consumer injuries that may result from the misuse of information about consumers.”

To help assist the agency’s analysis of this topic, the FTC is seeking comment on a range of issues including:

  • What are the qualitatively different types of injuries from privacy and data security incidents?
  • What frameworks might we use to assess these different injuries? How do we quantify injuries?
  • How do businesses evaluate the benefits, costs, and risks of collecting and using consumer information in light of potential injuries? How do consumers evaluate the benefits, costs, and risks of sharing information in light of potential injuries?

You can find a full list of questions and information about how to submit comments in the detailed public notice about the workshop. The deadline for submitting comments is October 27, 2017.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C. It will be webcast live on the FTC’s website.Registration information, an agenda, directions to the Constitution Center building, and a list of speakers will be available in the near future on the event webpage.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Juliana Gruenwald Henderson
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2924

STAFF CONTACTS:
Cora Han
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-2441

Doug Smith
Bureau of Economics
202-326-2730