FTC Preps Online Privacy/Security Conference

Will look at IoT, VR and more

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized its agenda for an upcoming conference, PrivacyCon 2018, that will highlight research into security related to the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, as well as the "economics of privacy."

The goal is also to "expand collaboration among leading privacy and security researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and the government."

The Feb. 28 conference, the commission's third annual, comes as the FTC is preparing to inherit more online privacy authority from the FCC with the reclassification of internet access to a Title I service not subject to common carrier regs. The Title II classification of ISPs had removed them from the FCC's authority over deceptive or unfair conduct.

The privacy portion will look at quantifying the harms of companies failing to secure consumer information and balancing the costs and benefits of various privacy protection technologies and practices. Acting FTC chair Maureen Ohlhausen will give opening remarks.

The conference will be divided into four sessions: 1) "research on collection, exfiltration, and leakage of private information"; 2) "consumer preferences, expectations, and behaviors"; 3) "presentations on economics, markets and experiments"; and 4) "research related to tools and ratings for privacy management."

The conference will be held at the Constitution Center in Washington, is free to the public, and will also be streamed on the FTC web site.