N E W Y O R K, Jan. 23, 2001 -- The Federal Trade Commission on Monday ended its investigation into the data collection practices of DoubleClick Inc., the nation’s largest Internet advertising company.
The FTC began its investigation in February 2000, questioning whether DoubleClick improperly amassed personal information about Internet users.
Database Cause for Concern
The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, aprivacy advocacy group, has accused DoubleClick of seeking to buildvirtual dossiers on consumers’ buying habits and identities afterassuring Web users that information collected about them wouldremain confidential.
The complaints against DoubleClick were sparked by the company’s$1.7 billion purchase last fall of direct marketing company Abacusand DoubleClick’s plans to cross-reference its records ofconsumers’ online habits with a Abacus database that includes namesand other identifying data. The company eventually scrapped thoseplans.
“DoubleClick remains committed to ensuring the highest level ofonline consumer privacy, both within our company and throughout theindustry,” Kevin Ryan, CEO of DoubleClick, said in a statement onMonday.
The New York-based DoubleClick electronically insertsadvertisements on behalf of online advertisers on more than 1,500Web sites.