DoubleClick called the ruling "groundbreaking," representing the first time courts have interpreted the applicability of federal privacy statutes to Internet advertising.
The suits were an outgrowth of publicity over DoubleClick's plans to combine offline information from its direct mail subsidiary Abacus Direct with its own online data to create consumer profiles. Privacy critics blasted the plan, and class action lawyers filed suits contending DoubleClick had violated various federal and state consumer protection statutes. The federal suits filed in different jurisdictions were consolidated.
Doubleclick CEO Kevin Ryan in a statement said he was "delighted" by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald's decision. DoubleClick also announced today that it was filing a motion for summary judgement.
Alan Mansfield, one of the lawyers who filed suit against DoubleClick, said a possible appeal is being studied. -- Ira Teinowitz
Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.