• As part of its effort to thwart robocalls, the FTC has announced that it is launching the “FTC Robocall Challenge” – a contest that will award a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution for blocking illegal robocalls. The FTC believes the challenge will allow it to “tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public” in order to develop a successful solution to the illegal robocall problem. The award will go to the person, team, or small company (with fewer than 10 employees) that develops the best robocall-blocking technology. Entries will be judged by the following criteria: (1) it must work; (2) be easy to use; and (3) be easy to implement and operate. The FTC Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public. Entries will be accepted from October 25, 2012 to January 17, 2013. More information regarding the FTC Robocall Challenge is available here.
  • Following up on its March 2012 “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change” Report, the FTC has announced that it will host a workshop on December 6, 2012, “to explore the practices and privacy implications of comprehensive collection of data about consumers’ online activities.” The workshop will bring together consumer protection organizations, academics, business and industry representatives, and privacy professionals to discuss the issues raised by the collection and use of comprehensive data about consumers’ online activities by ISPs, browsers, search engines, and social media platforms. Interested parties may submit requests to participate as panelists and may recommend topics for inclusion on the agenda. The workshop is free and open to the public. More information is available here.