Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce will hold a public workshop on November 8, 1999, on “online profiling,” the practice of aggregating information about consumers’ interests, gathered primarily by tracking their movements online, and using the resulting consumer profiles to create targeted advertising on Web sites. The goals of the workshop are to educate government officials and the public about online profiling and its implications for consumer privacy, and to examine current profiling industry efforts to implement fair information practices. A notice announcing the workshop and requesting public comment will be published in the Federal Register shortly.
According to the FTC, online profiling typically employs “cookies,” text files placed on users’ computers to store information about their computers and their online activities. Privacy concerns have been raised by many of the business practices that support online profiling, and consumers are largely unaware of the creation of online profiles, the agency said.
The workshop will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Main Auditorium, 1401 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20239. It will include three sessions, which will run consecutively beginning at 8:30 a.m. on November 8, 1999:
Session I – Online Profiling Technology;
Session II – Implications of Online Profiling Technology for User Privacy;
Session III – The Role of Self-Regulation.Details