Security & Fraud

What Will FTC’s PrivacyCon Deliver?

Next week, on Jan. 14, the FTC will hold an event that’s being pitched as the “first of its kind” for the privacy and security industry.

The FTC will host PrivacyCon, and just last week it revealed the agenda will include a packed day of discussion between researchers and academics in the space, The National Law Review reported. This event follows the FTC’s event last year that focused on researchers and academics in the “white hat” space that focused on how consumers may be vulnerable to security issues as more focus is placed on big data and the Internet Of Things.

PrivacyCon will provide insight into academic research that’s focused on the following topics: The current state of online privacy, consumers’ privacy expectations, big data and algorithms, the economics of privacy and security, and security and usability.

The Internet of Things will continue to play a pivotal role, as well as privacy regulation, consumer privacy, big data and cybersecurity issues. Keynote speakers at the event include FTC Commissioner Julie Brill and FTC Chief Technologist Lorrie Cranor.

The subject of consumer privacy and Web privacy/security has been a major talking point for the FTC’s officials as they continue to look at ways to protect consumers while still maintaining necessary security checkpoints along the way. A driving force of that, of course, has been the rise of the IoT market.

Speaking at a trade show in March, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez spoke about the possible impact of consumers’ gadget-heavy lives, with emphasis on consumer privacy and data protection. It was then that she called on companies to install security protections on new products, and to store the least amount of consumer data necessary. She also called for greater consumer choice in how much, and which, information is collected by these gadgets.

“In the not too distant future, many, if not most, aspects of our everyday lives will be digitally observed and stored,” Ramirez said during a CES panel. But the devices that obtain that information are also “collecting, transmitting, storing and often sharing vast amounts of consumer data, some of it highly personal, and thereby creating significant privacy risks.”


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