The FTC has announced that it will hold a public workshop entitled “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” on September 15, 2014. This event follows the FTC’s spring series of privacy workshops, which included an event focused on predictive analytics, and the release of the FTC’s report on “data brokers” in early 2014.

According to the FTC’s agenda, the workshop will consist of four panels on:

  • The current uses of big data in a variety of contexts and how these uses impact consumers;
  • Potential uses of big data as well as the potential benefits and harms for particular populations of consumers;
  • Existing antidiscrimination and consumer protection laws and their application to big data activities; and
  • Best practices for the use of big data to protect consumers.

The workshop also will feature remarks from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill and presentations from FTC staff. Pre-workshop comments were requested by August 15, but the FTC also will accept comments following the workshop until October 15.