The chief executive of online advertising agency Doubleclick, which has been at the centre of controversy over data collection methods, has admitted that he made a "mistake" and has called for a set of consumer privacy guidelines.
The agency has been in the headlines over its alleged practice of matching data about individual consumers and their internet habits with public information such as addresses and phone numbers.
A number of complaints led the US Federal Trade Commission to launch an informal inquiry over possible privacy violations.
Kevin O'Connor, Doubleclick's chief executive and founder, said today: "I made a mistake by planning to merge names with anonymous user activity across websites in the absence of government and industry privacy standards."
But O'Connor argued that the company's plan had not been implemented and said it never associated names or any other personally identifiable information with anonymous user activity across different websites.
He also called for a set of guidelines to "help create a healthy, free internet, while protecting the privacy of all consumers", adding that Doubleclick would wait until clearer legislation was available before making any similar plans.
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