FTC Complaint Filed Against Google/DoubleClick Deal4/20/2007 06:13:00 AM Eastern
Media reform and privacy advocacy groups have taken aim at Google's just-announced $3.1 billion purchase of online advertiser DoubleClick.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), joined by the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
They want the regulator to get assurances about privacy standards and to assess Google's ability to track and profile users via the new data they will be gaining through the purchase of DoubleClick.
EPIC filed an FTC complaint against DoubleClick back in 2000, alleging Doubleclick was "unlawfully tracking the online activities of Internet users and combining surfing records with detailed personal profiles contained in a national marketing database."
The FTC closed its investigation without any findings against the company, but with DoubleClick promising to abide by privacy guidelines.
The groups are concerned that Google can now "track both a person’s Internet searches and a person’s web site visits. This could impact the privacy interests of 233 million Internet users in North America, 314 million Internet users in Europe, and more than 1.1 billion Internet users around the world."