May 17, 2000 9:20 AM PDT

DoubleClick names new privacy board members

Net advertising giant DoubleClick has appointed seven new members to its recently created Privacy Advisory Board, the company's latest effort to refurbish its image amid criticism from consumer groups and regulators.

The board, which will meet for the first time June 2, will advise DoubleClick on developing and revising its privacy policies. It will also address issues involving Net security and online ethics.

The new board members are as follows: Lori Fena, chairman and co-founder of Truste; Daniel J. Weitzner, technology and society domain leader of the World Wide Web Consortium; Elizabeth Lascoutx, director of Children's Advisory Review Unit and vice president of Council of Better Business Bureaus; Robert Litan, vice president and director of economic studies at The Brookings Institution; David Stazer, vice president of product development and co-founder of PlanetOut.com; Harriet P. Pearson, director of public affairs at IBM; and Stewart Baker, partner at Steptoe & Johnson.

The appointments mark the first incarnation of DoubleClick's decision in March to create a privacy advisory board. At the time, DoubleClick appointed Bob Abrams, former New York state attorney general, as chairman of its Privacy Advisory Board. In addition, it appointed Jules Polonetsky, a former commissioner to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, as its chief privacy officer.

DoubleClick created the board largely in reaction to a wave of criticism by privacy and consumer groups. Their complaints stemmed from DoubleClick's $1.7 billion acquisition of Abacus Direct, a company that works with offline catalog companies. Opponents of the merger feared DoubleClick would combine its data about surfing habits through its ad network with personal information from Abacus' transaction records.

The company has since been hit with lawsuits alleging its policies violated user privacy. In addition, DoubleClick disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for its data-collection practices.

News.com's Evan Hansen contributed to this report.

 

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