On September 15, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled a series of public roundtables that will focus on the effect of modern technology and business practices on the privacy of consumer information. The goal of the panels is to explore how to best balance the concerns for consumer privacy, beneficial use of consumer information and technological innovation. The discussions will address myriad technologies and practices, such as social networking, cloud computing, behavioral marketing, mobile marketing and, generally, the collection of consumer information for various purposes. The roundtables will also consider the adequacy of existing legal and self-regulatory frameworks. Participants will include academics, privacy experts, consumer advocates, industry representatives, technology experts, legislators, and experts from outside the United States. The Commission has asked individuals and organizations to submit requests to participate as panelists and suggest discussion topics. The Commission also has asked interested parties to submit written comments and research on the issues of (i) risks, concerns and benefits associated with the collection and use of consumer information, (ii) consumer expectations of how their information is used, and (iii) the adequacy of existing legal requirements and self-regulatory regimes in protecting consumer privacy interests.

Click here for more information on the Commission’s news release.