FTC Privacy Roundtable II

FTC Privacy Roundtable II
BT Enforcement Actions in the Works

The FTC’s second of three Privacy Roundtables was held on International Data Privacy Day (or January 28th to most of us) and the FTC was struggling with how to give the consumer greater control or awareness over the use of his/her data.  David Vladeck, head of the Consumer Protection Division, warned that the FTC is preparing to launch enforcement actions against companies engaged in “practices that undermine the tools that consumers can use to opt out of behavioral advertising.”  From other comments made by Vladeck and FTC Commissioner Paula Jones Harbour, the FTC is particularly focusing on the use of flash cookies.

The FTC is also grappling with social networking (one commentator described the FTC as “Facebook obsessed”) and is reviewing a EPIC complaint recently filed regarding Facebook’s privacy practices.

On a separate note, President Obama’s budget proposal would add 23 employees to the Consumer Protection Division principally to  “focus on financial services and health fraud, schemes that target “vulnerable Americans” and others.”

More info:  F.T.C.: Has Internet Gone Beyond Privacy Policies?, New York Times

FTC Examines Privacy Complaint Against Facebook, PC Magazine

FTC Budget Would Add 40 New Staffers, MainJustice.com and

Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law blog.