Online advertising giant Doubleclick yesterday announced a publicity campaign designed to fight off critics who claim that it has been invading internet users privacy.
The agency, which is responsible for inserting ads on some 1,500 websites on behalf of its clients, has been accused of creating secret virtual profiles of consumers to sell to its advertising clients.
Doubleclick said it will promote a website, called PrivacyChoices.org, that will tell consumers how they can opt out of advertising schemes. PricewaterhouseCoopers will conduct independent audits of the agency's privacy practices.
Doubleclick founder Kevin O'Connor declined to comment on the privacy case here at Milia 2000, but said "there is a privacy paradox". Consumers want to exchange information for value, he said.
"We want the industry to disclose its practices so that consumers can opt out anytime they want to," he added.
However, privacy advocates believe that companies will not stop tracking consumers to find out where they go on the internet and, more importantly, what they buy until the advertising model on the net is changed.
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