On March 17, 2010, the FTC will host a day-long public roundtable discussion in Washington, DC to explore the privacy challenges posed by the vast array of 21st century technologies and business practices that collect and use consumer data. Among the major topics to be discussed will be the FTC’s ongoing examination of whether the increasing use by businesses of cloud computing to store consumer data raises any new issues for consumers. Specifically, the FTC is concerned that the emergence of business models that rely upon cloud computing to store customer information could place consumer privacy at risk. Other topics that may be discussed include online behavioral advertising, mobile marketing practices, and the privacy challenges posed by social networking. Additional information and an agenda are available here.

A recent interview by FTC staff discussing the cloud computing inquiry can be found here.