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, a privacy advocacy group, has accused DoubleClick of seeking to build virtual dossiers on consumers’ buying habits and identities after assuring Web users that information collected about them would remain confidential.
The complaints against DoubleClick were sparked by the company’s $1.7 billion purchase last fall of direct marketing company Abacus and DoubleClick’s plans to cross-reference its records of consumers’ online habits with a Abacus database that includes names and other identifying data. The company eventually scrapped those plans.
“DoubleClick remains committed to ensuring the highest level of online consumer privacy, both within our company and throughout the industry,” Kevin Ryan, CEO of DoubleClick, said in a statement on Monday.
The New York-based DoubleClick electronically inserts advertisements on behalf of online advertisers on more than 1,500 Web sites.