FTC roundtable explores privacy in an information economy

What happens to privacy when new technologies are adopted by society? That's what the Federal Trade Commission is looking into today in the first of a three-part series of roundtable discussions about the privacy issues raised by our information economy and the innovations of the 21st century. During the day-long event, the FTC will be joined by dozens of experts from universities and think tanks, consumer advocacy groups, and industry organizations to talk about what happens with the collection of data when technologies such as social networking, cloud computing, and mobile marketing emerge. Today's roundtable discussions will be broken down into five different panels:
  • Benefits and Risks of Collecting, Using, and Retaining Consumer Data
  • Consumer Expectations and Disclosures
  • Online Behavioral Advertising
  • Information Brokers
  • Exploring Existing Regulatory Frameworks
Alan Davidson, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, will be representing Google on the second panel about consumer expectations. At Google, we use data to create products and services that many find useful and interesting. Our approach to privacy is to empower users with transparency and choice. We let people know what data we collect and provide meaningful choices and tools so people can make informed decisions. In the past year, we've taken several steps to underscore this commitment. With interest-based advertising, we created a tool called the Ads Preferences Manager, which gives people a say in the types of ads they see. Our Data Liberation Front makes it easier to move data in and out of Google. And most recently, we launched Google Dashboard, which lets Google Account holders view and control the data that's associated with the signed-in services they use.

There's sure to be plenty of lively discussion at today's roundtable. We'd love to hear your thoughts, too. You can watch the webcast of the event, and share your comments below.