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    FTC to Examine Retail Tracking, Alternative Scoring, and Consumer Health Data

    The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will host seminars in the spring on retail tracking, alternative scoring, and consumer health information, three topics that the agency says “have garnered considerable attention for both their potential benefits and the possible privacy concerns they raise for consumers.” The agency also said:

    As the tools available to track, market to and analyze consumers – often without their knowledge – grow, businesses are able to meet consumers’ demands more efficiently and effectively. But these tools may also carry significant risks to consumers’ privacy. The seminars, taking place over three months, will shine a light on new trends in Big Data and their impact on consumer privacy. The topics will include:

    • Mobile device tracking – tracking consumers in retail and other businesses using signals from their mobile devices.
    • Alternative scoring products – using predictive scoring to determine consumers’ access to products and offers.
    • Consumer-generated and controlled health data – information provided by consumers to non-HIPAA covered websites, health apps and devices.

    View the full announcement to learn more about the seminars, including dates and questions to be addressed, as well as how to submit comments to the agency for consideration during the seminars. The agency also said that it would issue reports after the seminars.

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