Online advertising giant DoubleClick, which last year faced controversy over its privacy policies and practices, has a new version of the document that started it all.
The new policy has been reworded in an effort to make it easier to understand, said a spokesperson from the company.
"It's the best way to meet both the needs of novice Internet users who aren't looking for a 25-page document, and the very tech savvy," said the spokesperson.
Much of the policy remains unchanged, said the spokesperson. Some details of DoubleClick's arrangement with Abacus Direct -- a database alliance of about 88 million offline consumers, which DoubleClick purchased last year -- were made more accurate, the DoubleClick spokesperson said, but at press time couldn't confirm what exactly had been altered.
The effort is part of DoubleClick's continuing effort to build up its reputation and its record on privacy, following last year's debacle over a proposed integration of the Abacus database with DoubleClick's online anonymous database.
In response to public outcry, the company not only dropped the idea but created the position of chief privacy officer, to which it appointed Junes Polonetsky, former head of New York City's consumer affairs division. According to the company, Polonetsky has veto power over contracts with clients who refuse to adhere to DoubleClick's privacy policies.
In recent months, DoubleClick also has tapped a new ad agency and heard proposals from PR agencies.
In an open letter on his company's Web site, Catlett wrote that he repeatedly has asked DoubleClick to give the public access to its Abacus Direct database, but said he's been constantly rebuffed.
"How could keeping billions of records in secret electronic dossiers constitute executing business in 'the most open manner possible?'" said Catlett, who also called Polonetsky's claim of being committed to openness "more suited to a chief propaganda officer than a chief privacy officer."
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March 19, 2014