Sep 02 2015

What the FTC Hopes to Accomplish Through PrivacyCon

The agency wants to create an information exchange about the latest trends in privacy and data security.

Each summer, the much-anticipated Comic-Con International: San Diego brings together droves of entertainment and comic-book aficionados. Now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to create similar enthusiasm for consumer privacy and security through PrivacyCon.

Addressing security concerns through new technology is one of the federal government’s main objectives. PrivacyCon aims to simplify the process by uniting technology industry representatives, primary stakeholders, federal officials and academics to discuss research and trends. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez sees the convention as a chance to establish a more collaborative environment.

“We want to increase the FTC’s engagement with the technology community in order to more effectively encourage innovation that is protective of consumer privacy and security,” Ramirez explained in a press release. “At PrivacyCon, our goal is to have leading experts in privacy and data security sit at the table with us and other policymakers to discuss their original research findings and the implications for consumer privacy.”

To better relay this information to attendees, the FTC seeks presentations about the most pressing issues in privacy and security:

FTC staff issued a call for presentations seeking original research on new vulnerabilities and how they might be exploited to harm consumers, as well as recent research in areas such as big data, the Internet of Things, and consumer attitudes toward privacy. The FTC is seeking research from a variety of disciplines, such as data analytics, computer security, marketing, and economics.

PrivacyCon might also present a slightly different opportunity for the FTC to learn about data protection. Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Lee Tien added that the agency should use the event to learn the best ways to shield itself from legal action. “Investigation and research into what companies are or aren’t doing to protect our data comes before litigation,” Tien told the Daily Dot.

PrivacyCon will take place at the Constitution Center in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 14, 2016. More information about the event can be found here.