Opposition to Google's DoubleClick deal mounting

Finally, privacy advocates say DoubleClick has a record of questionable information collection practices. EPIC, in February 2000, filed an FTC complaint saying the company was illegally tracking the online activities of Internet users with detailed personal profiles contained in a national marketing database. In March 2000, DoubleClick issued a statement saying the merged database was a mistake. In January 2001, the FTC reached an agreement with DoubleClick, in which the company agreed to disclose its tracking practices and to allow users to opt out of data collection.

CDD's Chester said he will continue to push the privacy issue with the FTC and with other government officials. CDD and US PIRG filed an FTC complaint a year ago on targeted advertising in general, not focusing on Google.

But the DoubleClick deal ratchets up the problems, he said. "The failure of Google to acknowledge that the merger poses unique privacy concerns illustrates a real deficit ... in Google's top management," he said. "They don't even acknowledge that there is a greater privacy concern."

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