There’s a lot to think about from FTC privacy roundtables
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now completed two of its three scheduled roundtable discussions as part of the “Exploring Privacy” series. The focus of these sessions is to raise and discuss issues, not to try to resolve them, but while the logistical details of the third meeting are still to be determined, privacy watchers are already analyzing what has transpired during the roundtable discussions and making predictions about what sort of FTC action may be likely to result from them. As you might expect, the parts of the discussions receiving the greatest attention vary somewhat based on who is providing the analysis. Good examples of these different perspectives include:
- An analysis focusing on the legal and regulatory implications of what the FTC has heard (and said) at the two roundtables completed to date, provided by the privacy practice of Hunton & Williams, a firm recognized as a leader in privacy law.
- A good summary of the key take-aways from the second roundtable session, written by the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil liberties public interest group and vocal privacy advocate.
- A set of predictions and expectations for online marketers and advertisers from Adweek, an advertising industry publication aimed at an audience of ad agency executives.
- A brief statement by Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen on the role of policy makers in protecting privacy while recognizing that technological innovation often outpaces policy and regulatory frameworks.
The FTC has suggested previously that it hopes to publish some form of report or findings from the privacy roundtable series once it is completed, likely sometime this summer. Until that happens, the steps the FTC will take to address appropriate privacy protection regulations and balance industry concerns will remain subject to lots of speculation.