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In the fall of 1995, the FTC held extensive hearings on the implications of globalization and technological innovation for both competition and consumer protection. In four days of hearings on consumer protection, the Commission heard from members of the information industry and online business community, privacy and consumer advocates, government representatives, and experts in interactive technology. Consensus emerged on several broad issues:
- basic consumer protection principles should apply in the electronic marketplace;
- government should tailor its efforts to avoid undue burdens on business and technology;
- effective self-regulation should be encouraged; and
- the public and private sectors should work together where possible.
These hearings, as summarized in this staff report, provided a guide for the Commission in drafting its approach to e-commerce.