As part of the Federal Trade Commission's effort to understand online privacy and other issues posed by the developing technology-based marketplace. As part of this effort, the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection staff undertook a Consumer Privacy Initiative to examine consumer privacy issues in the online context, and to promote consumer and business education about the use of personal information online. The Initiative opened an ongoing dialogue, in both traditional and electronic forums, with a wide range of interested parties — including online service providers, direct marketers, privacy advocates, information industry representatives, consumer groups, trade associations, and academics.
The June 1996 Workshop that is the subject of this report was convened to continue that dialogue, and to allow the broadest possible group of interested parties to express their views on (1) privacy issues posed by the emerging online marketplace, and (2) online protections for consumer privacy. This report summarizes participants' views. It synthesizes subjects and strategies on which there was general agreement among workshop participants, records the issues upon which participants could not agree, and describes ongoing private efforts to address concerns about information privacy online. It is designed to be a resource not only for readers with an interest in privacy issues generally, but also for those who are working toward the development of policies and mechanisms for protecting consumer privacy online.