During her confirmation hearing today, Terrell McSweeny briefly touched upon privacy issues. With her children in the background, she noted that she is particularly cognizant of the need to protect children’s privacy. Noting that her small children were already both “iPad and app proficient,” she recognized that mobile technology–and the ways that children are using this technology–is evolving rapidly in both good and bad ways. In response to a question by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), McSweeny stated that she was interested in working with the Senator on protections for teenagers who fall outside of current COPPA rules.
On the topic of data brokers, McSweeny suggested that the FTC had an important mission to educate the public. “I’m often struck by how little most of us know about how information is collected and used online,” she said, adding that she thought there were lessons that could be learned from the various multistakeholder processes that have been pursued in the past few years.