I caught Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann just before the lunch break here at the FTC hearings on “Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade.”
“What did she think of the discussion thus far? Is it moving in the right direction towards determining if or how the commission should deal with the multitude of issues being raised?” I asked.
Though discussants are asking the right questions, she said, she wondered whether anything’s really changed since the last similar FTC hearings on technology and the consumer, The Global Hearings, held in ’95. Indeed, issues that were raised then (data mining, privacy concerns and child protection for instance) remain constant, she said.
Since the 1995 conference, “The solution has been the same,” she said: to let the industry police itself. We need to determine whether we’re handling the potential problems in the best way, she continued.