The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has announced that it will hold three privacy roundtable discussions to address developing challenges to consumer privacy created by new technology and business practices. The Commission has stated that the series of roundtables will explore the impact of a range of practices, including topics such as online behavioral advertising, social networking, cloud computing, and mobile marketing. The first privacy roundtable is scheduled to occur in Washington, DC on December 7, 2009 and the second roundtable will take place in Berkeley, CA on January 28, 2010. The location and date of the third roundtable have yet to be announced.

For the first privacy roundtable in December, the Commission is expected to convene panels on the following topics: (1) benefits and risks of collecting, using, and retaining consumer data; (2) consumer expectations and disclosures; (3) online behavioral advertising; (4) information brokers; and (5) exploring existing regulatory frameworks.

Stakeholders with an interest in serving on the second roundtable panel have until December 9, 2009 to make a request to participate. Additionally, parties may submit comments to the Commission by December 21, 2009, addressing such topics as: (1) the role that privacy-enhancing technologies play in addressing Internet-related privacy concerns; and (2) challenges to consumer privacy created by innovations in the digital environment and means to address those challenges without stifling innovation.