*FTC Drops Investigation of DoubleClick

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The Federal Trade Commission yesterday ended its investigation of the data practices of online ad firm DoubleClick Inc.

"Based on this investigation, it appears to staff that DoubleClick never used or disclosed consumers' personally identifiable information for purposes other than those disclosed in its privacy policy. Specifically, it appears that DoubleClick did not combine PII from Abacus Direct with click stream collected on client Web sites," Joel Winston, FTC acting associate director of the division of financial practices, said in a letter sent yesterday to DoubleClick's attorney.

The investigation began in February 2000 to determine whether DoubleClick, New York, merged its offline consumer data with its anonymous online consumer data.

Although DoubleClick had planned to merge the data when it acquired Abacus Direct in 1999, privacy concerns and lack of industry standards forced it to refrain from doing so.

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