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FTC clears DoubleClick of privacy invasion

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The Federal Trade Commission has ended its inquiry into DoubleClick's practices and concluded that the company has not used or disclosed any personal data.

The inquiry started in February last year and caused the company's share price to plummet. DoubleClick, it was said, had been using personal details to build customer profiles and this went against its purported privacy policies. DoubleClick swiftly fired out a number of privacy enhancing strategies, but this wasn't enough to satisfy the public or prevent the FTC's investigation.

DoubleClick then won a Big Brother award for Greatest Corporate Invader in April.

However, the FTC has cleared the company of any misdeeds. In a letter to the FTC said DoubleClick had "never used or disclosed consumers' PII (personally identifiable information) for purposes other than those disclosed in its privacy policy." It also said the company "has not used sensitive data for any online preference marketing product."

Among the company's efforts to remove the stigma off trampling on privacy issues were: hiring a chief privacy officer, getting privacy audits from PwC, running a campaign to educate Net users about its approach to privacy and setting up a Web site (www.privacychoices.com) that allowed people to opt out of targeted ads. ®

Related Stories

Wall Street clobbers DoubleClick on news of FTC interest
DoubleClick wins 'Greatest Corporate Invader' award
DoubleClick stands tall for on-line privacy rights

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