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21st Century Technology and Business Practices to be Subject of FTC Privacy Roundtables

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced plans to hold three roundtables that will focus on consumer privacy issues. According to the announcement, the purpose of the series of roundtables are:

. . . to explore the privacy challenges posed by the vast array of 21st century technology and business practices that collect and use consumer data. Such practices include social networking, cloud computing, online behavioral advertising, mobile marketing, and the collection and use of information by retailers, data brokers, third-party applications, and other diverse businesses. The goal of the roundtables is to determine how best to protect consumer privacy while supporting beneficial uses of the information and technological innovation.

The FTC is also inviting comments to a series of initial questions, including the following:

  1. What risks, concerns, and benefits arise from the collection, sharing, and use of consumer information?
  2. Are there commonly understood or recognized consumer expectations about how information concerning consumers is collected and used?
  3. Do the existing legal requirements and self-regulatory regimes in the United States today adequately protect consumer privacy interests?

Comments are due Friday, November 6, 2009, and may be completed on the FTC's Comment Form.

The first roundtable will be held on December 7th, in Washington, D.C. A webcast will be available. A second roundtable will be held on the West Coast. More information is available at "Exploring Privacy: A Roundtable Series".