A Consumer Watchdog Policy Conference

The Future of Online Consumer Protections

Stills from the Privacy Conf

A recent Consumer Watchdog national poll found 90 percent of Americans support more laws to protect their privacy online. After a contentious midterm election, privacy has emerged as one of the few issues where there may be a chance of bipartisan consensus.

On December 1, 2010, Consumer Watchdog convened panels of experts in Washington, D.C. to examine the challenges ahead and determine what could be done.

Below are videos of each conference panel and speaker. Watch FTC Consumer Protection Chief David Vladeck break new ground on the agency's findings about the establishment of a "Do Not Track Me" mechanism and their report on online privacy protection and famed antitrust lawyer Gary Reback make the antitrust case against Google.  

Conference agenda
Conference packet (with speakers' handouts)
Conference transcript



Keynote speaker David Vladeck, Director FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

  • With welcome from Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court and John M. Simpson

Jamie Court's Introductory Presentation


Protecting consumers while they surf the Web: How “Do Not Track Me” would work and other ideas

  • Chris Soghoian, Privacy and security researcher
  • Susan Grant, Consumer Federation of America
  • Ginger McCall, EPIC

Chris Soghoian's handout (Part 1)
Chris Soghoian's handout (Part 2)
Susan Grant's Handout on the need for a Do Not Track Mechanism
EPIC's letter to the FCC on the Google Wi-Spy Scandal
Consumer Watchdog's letter to the FTC on the Google Wi-Spy Scandal


Protecting electronic health records and ensuring safeguards in the online medical marketing era

  • Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights Founder
  • Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy

Patient Privacy Rights Report
Op-Ed from Dr. Deborah Peel in Wall St. Journal
Dr. Deborah Peel's Presentation
Jeff Chester's Presentation
Jeff Chester's Handout


Competition and antitrust issues on the Internet

  • Gary Reback, Of Counsel, Carr & Ferrell LLP
  • Scott Cleland, President, Precursor LLc
  • Melanie Sabo, Assistant Director for Anticompetitive Practices, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission

Gary Reback's presentation
Scott Cleland's Presentation
Melanie Sabo's Presentation


Luncheon Keynote: Daniel J. Weitzner, Associate Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce

Text of Daniel Weitzner's Speech



The Internet’s impact on creative arts

  • Stuart Bernstein, literary agent
  • Michael Capobianco, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
  • Salley Shannon, American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)