FTC to Hold High Tech Issue Hearings

The Federal Trade Commission will host hearings this fall on emerging technologies being exploited by Internet spies and identity thieves.

The FTC last held similar hearings in 1995, when the technology to create now familiar problems such as spyware and spam was still in its infancy.

"It is time to look ahead and examine the next generation of issues to emerge in our high-tech global marketplace," FTC Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras said at an anti-spyware conference Thursday. "Ten years is an eternity for technology."

Claudia Bourne Farrell, an FTC spokeswoman, said the new hearings would probably include issues such as spyware, spam, radio frequency identification - which tracks goods through a computer chip embedded in a tag - and identity theft.

Todd Davis, chief executive officer of LifeLock Inc., a Chandler, Ariz.-based identity theft prevention company, plans to attend the hearings. He said the government had some catching up to do. "The thieves have advanced with the technology and we have not," Davis said.

Majoras said the hearings would take place sometime this fall, and would include business, technology, academic and law enforcement experts.

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Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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