On November 1, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission hosted their annual PrivacyCon 2022, which was available to the public via webcast. The FTC held seven different panels highlighting the latest research and trends in consumer privacy and data security.
Opening remarks were made by FTC Chair, Lina Khan, and FTC Chief Technology Officer (“CTO”), Stephanie Nguyen. FTC Chair, Lina Khan, highlighted the importance of hearing privacy issues from the academic community and the FTC’s goal to stay abreast of privacy-related concerns to consumers. FTC CTO, Stephanie Nguyen, highlighted concerns related to data security and consumer privacy and urged companies to work on maintaining best practices to protect consumer data from unreasonable risks.
Topics presented during PrivacyCon 2022 included consumer surveillance, automated decision-making systems, children’s privacy, listening devices, augmented and virtual reality, interfaces and dark patterns, and adtech. Some reoccurring themes across the different panels, include (1) understanding the risks of inaccurate information in data collection practices and automated decision making practices and how this information can be used to wrongfully bias or discriminate against people; (2) recognizing the lack of transparency behind the collection of consumer information, particularly children, despite the enactment of data privacy laws; and (3) dealing with the issues behind cookie-consent interfaces, dark patterns and targeted online advertising and how these issues affect the consumer. The recordings of PrivacyCon 2022 are available on the FTC website.