On Tuesday, the FTC announced the agenda for PrivacyCon, which is being billed as a “first-of-its-kind event” that will facilitate discussions between researchers and academics about privacy and security.  The FTC also released abstracts for the research that will be presented at the conference, scheduled for January 14.  PrivacyCon follows a call from the FTC last summer to “white hat” researchers and academics for papers on new vulnerabilities and how they might be exploited to harm consumers, as well as research in the area of big data, the Internet of things and consumer attitudes towards privacy.

The FTC has structured PrivacyCon as a series of panels revolving around presentation and discussion of original research.  The agenda includes the following five topical areas, which will cover presentations of 19 different research papers and studies:

  • The current state of online privacy
  • Consumers’ privacy expectations
  • Big data and algorithms
  • The economics of privacy and security
  • Security and usability

Presentations will include research on the Internet of Things, privacy policies, consumer privacy expectations, targeted advertising, medical privacy and genetic testing, discrimination in big data, the costs and causes of cybersecurity incidents, and the right to be forgotten.

In addition to panel discussions and research presentations, PrivacyCon will also feature a keynote address from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, as well as closing remarks from FTC Chief Technologist Lorrie Cranor, who FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez appointed to this position in early December.