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[FYI] NYT: 2 Hired to Calm Fears for Web Privacy


2 Hired to Calm Fears for Web

Internet Ad Placement Company Appoints Consumer


DoubleClick, the Internet's largest advertisement
placement company, has hired two of New York's most
prominent consumer advocates in an effort to reassure the
public, investors and federal and state regulators that it will
respect computer users' privacy rights. 

Robert Abrams, who served
four terms as state attorney
general as well as stints as a
state Assembly member and
Bronx borough president, has
been named chairman of the
company's new privacy
advisory board. Jules
Polonetsky, the city's
commissioner of consumer
affairs and a former state
legislator, said yesterday that
he was leaving the Giuliani
administration in two weeks to
take over as DoubleClick's
chief privacy officer. 


Deirdre K. Mulligan, staff counsel at the Washington-based
Center for Democracy and Technology, said she was
pleased that DoubleClick was appointing executives to
address consumers' privacy concerns, but she added that it
remained to be seen how serious the company's
commitment is. 

"If this is only window dressing, it is not adequate," she said,
noting that her organization believed that it was likely that
federal legislation would still be needed to govern how such
vast loads of consumer data can be used. 

DoubleClick's president, Kevin Ryan, said yesterday that the
Internet community and users would gradually understand
that the company was committed to respecting consumers'
privacy over the long term. "People will see over time what
we do," Mr. Ryan said. "The appointments of Abrams and
Jules are two steps along the way." 

"Alte Bananen werden matschig und braun             --
 bei manchen Menschen ist's genau dasselbe.            "Alles Banane"
 Die gruene Jungbanane ist possierlich anzuschaun,     (30. Maerz in
 doch persoenlich steh' nur auf die Gelbe..."           Traumfabrik)