On March 17, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission concluded its three-part “Exploring Privacy” roundtable series with panel discussions on internet architecture, health information, sensitive information and the path forward.

Continue Reading An Inside Look at the FTC’s Final “Exploring Privacy” Roundtable

The Federal Trade Commission’s second “Exploring Privacy” roundtable concluded Thursday, January 28, 2010.  The roundtable did not provide many firm conclusions, but it did help further refine some hard issues facing privacy protection.

Although Thursday’s hearing was intended to be devoted to technology issues, the role of regulation appeared to dominate the discussions.  “Everyone is dying to talk about regulation,” said Jessica Rich, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, moderating a panel on Technology and Policy.

Continue Reading FTC’s Second Exploring Privacy Roundtable

In a discussion with The New York Times, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairman Jon Leibowitz, and chief of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck, indicated that Internet publishers and advertisers can expect the FTC to play a more active role in safeguarding consumer privacy.  Chairman Leibowitz highlighted that, in the past, the FTC’s approach to privacy has focused on consumer notice and consent, and whether consumers were harmed.  From the FTC’s perspective, however, the present model is problematic because companies have failed to provide consumers with meaningful notice that would allow them to make effective choices regarding their privacy.  This “advise-and-consent” model is broken, as it “depended on the fiction that people were meaningfully giving consent.”  In reality, few consumers take the time to inform themselves about the notices and choices outlined in privacy policies.

Continue Reading Federal Trade Commission: Is Privacy Moving to a Post-Disclosure Era?