Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the primary federal privacy and data security enforcement agency – will hold its third PrivacyCon on February 28, 2018, to focus on the economics of privacy including how to quantify the harms that result from the failure of companies to secure consumer information and how to balance the costs and benefits of privacy-protective technologies and practices.

PrivacyCon 2018 – which is free and open to the public – will be held at the FTC’s Constitution Center Office located at 400 7th Street, SW, in Washington, DC. The event will also be webcast live and the webcast link will appear at the top of the PrivacyCon event page approximately 10 minutes before the conference begins at 8:15 a.m. EST. PrivacyCon will cover a wide range of issues and questions including:

  • What are the greatest threats to consumer privacy today? What are the costs of mitigating these threats? How are the threats evolving? How does the evolving nature of the threats impact consumer welfare and the costs of mitigation?
  • How can companies weigh the costs and benefits of security-by-design techniques and privacy-protective technologies and behaviors? How can companies weigh the costs and benefits of individual tools or practices?
  • How can companies assess consumers’ privacy preferences?
  • Are there market failures (e.g. information asymmetries, externalities) in the area of privacy and data security? If so, what tools and strategies can businesses or consumers use to overcome or mitigate those failures? How can policymakers address those failures?

Building on the success of its two previous PrivacyCon events, PrivacyCon 2018 will expand collaboration among privacy and security researchers, academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and the government. As part of this initiative, the FTC sought research on privacy and security implications of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and virtual reality. The agenda includes four sessions:

  • Session 1 – 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. EST: Collection, Exfiltration, and Leakage of Private Information
  • Session 2 – 11:20 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. EST: Consumer Preferences, Expectations, and Behaviors
  • Session 3 – 1:40 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST: Economics, Markets, and Experiments
  • Session 4 – 3:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. EST: Tools and Ratings for Privacy Management 4:50 pm

PrivacyCon 2018 is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, attendees agree that their image – and anything they say or submit – may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the FTC’s publicly available social media sites. To learn more, visit

In 2017, privacy became a more critical issue after credit reporting agency Equifax announced that a massive data breach incident had impacted approximately 143 million Americans – almost half of the country.  The need for background screening firms to ensure privacy in the wake of the Equifax data breach is one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2018 selected by Employment Screening Resources (ESR).

ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen hosted a live webinar entitled “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2018” that includes information about this trend and others on January 17, 2018. To view a recording of this complimentary webinar from ESR, which will acquaint employers and Human Resources (HR) professionals with emerging and influential trends in the background screening industry, click here.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2018 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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