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FTC approves trade group's self-regulation plan regarding profiling

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Washington--The Federal Trade Commission late Thursday supported the National Advertising Initiatives self-regulatory proposal for online consumer profiling. The FTC finding suggests that such advertising networks as 24/7 Media, DoubleClick, Engage and MatchLogic will not face further investigation or regulation if they agree to standard notification, security and approval guidelines for profiling customers. For DoubleClick, New York, the FTC finding is a victory. Its plans to merge online data with Abacus' catalog purchase database sparked an earlier FTC inquiry. The FTC announcement seems to indicate the company will not have to change its practices, so long as it gathers such data without matching it to a specific person's name. Online privacy issues, currently a b-to-c issue, are being watched by b-to-b marketers for possible implications for their one-to-one marketing plans.
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