12/4/2013 5:33:54 PM
FTC to Discuss Emerging Consumer Privacy Issues in Spring 2014 Seminars
App Developer Magazine

FTC to Discuss Emerging Consumer Privacy Issues in Spring 2014 Seminars

Adam Grant Adam Grant in Mobile Guidelines Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On Monday, December 2nd, the Federal Trade Commission announced three consumer privacy issues it plans to examine in 2014. As part of this initiative, the FTC will hold three events in 2014 that focus on mobile tracking, consumer online scoring and user-generated health data next year. The first seminar on February 19 will discuss technology that allows business to track consumers through their smart phones and other mobile devices. The agency commented, “companies can use these technologies to reveal information about consumers including the path taken throughout a location, length of time in one location, whether a visitor is new or returning and the frequency of visits to a location.” The FTC recognized that this kind of technology “raises a number of potential privacy concerns.”

The FTC will hold its second event on March 19 and will examine how companies collect data about user online activity, use that data to score those users and then tailor their online experience according to the scores. “These scores are determining whether transactions trigger further scrutiny, the kind of special offers that companies make to certain individuals (and those they don’t), and even whether the customer should speak to a high-ranking customer service agent at a company,” the FTC wrote.

The third and final event has not been scheduled, but will examine health data that a consumer provides voluntarily and then controls. The associate director of the agency’s Division of Privacy and Identify Protection stated, “while the new technologies present important benefits to consumers, it’s also vital that we examine their privacy implications.”

Read more: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/reporter/mobile/