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DOUBLECLICK SUED OVER PRIVACY

Source: Reuters

January 28, 2000

      A Californian woman filed suit Thursday against DoubleClick Inc., accusing the Internet advertising company of unlawfully obtaining and selling consumers' private personal information, lawyers for the woman said.

      DoubleClick could not be immediately be reached for comment. The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court, Marin County, on behalf of Hariett Judnick and seeks to represent the state's general public, Ira Rothken, attorney with Rothken Law Firm, said in a statement.

      The lawsuit, Judnick vs. DoubleClick Inc., accuses New York-based DoubleClick of using computer technology to identify Internet users, track and record their Internet use and the Internet Web sites they visit, and obtain confidential and personal information about them without their consent. The information obtained, the suit alleges, includes such items as names, addresses, ages, shopping patterns and histories and financial information, the lawyers said in a statement.

      According to the lawsuit, DoubleClick has represented to the general public that it was not collecting personal and identifying information and that it gives privacy interests of Internet users paramount importance.

      Last year, DoubleClick acquired Abacus Direct Corp. a direct-marketing services company, which maintains a database about the purchasing patterns of most American households. The lawsuit contends DoubleClick then combined the power of its tracking technology with the information it acquired to create a means of collecting and cross-referencing private personal information without the knowing consent of Internet users.

      The suit is asking the court to bar DoubleClick from using technology to collect personal information without the prior written consent of the Internet user.




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