"Workshop participants will discuss the increasing prevalence of contactless payment devices in everyday consumer transactions, including credit card purchases and public transit, as well as the growing use of item-level tagging in the retail sector," said an FTC statement. "The workshop will examine consumer awareness and education initiatives regarding these developments; security and privacy threats and proposed solutions; and emerging technologies and practices that may shape the marketplace in the coming years." True enough, but there's a reason these D.C. sessions are called "hearings" and not "listenings."
These days, when U.S. government officials want to ask questions about privacy and data security, it's never clear if they want to protect consumers' privacy or learn the best way to violate it themselves. But retail execs who want hints can drop by a Sept. 22 hearing at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Washington, D.C., headquarters. Those who can't personally attend can do so virtually.