DoubleClick Decision Has Downside for E-Shoppers

The people at DoubleClick can breathe a bit easier now. With the U.S. Federal Trade Commission laying off after investigating their privacy practices for the past 11 months, the folks at DoubleClick must feel like an elephant just stepped off their chest.

But the pressure hasn’t gone away entirely. The infinitely complex and tangled privacy debate that DoubleClick sparked — and that all of e-commerce has to deal with — is just now beginning.

In fact, any company interested in harnessing the power of digital customization still has to search out that fine line between privacy invasion and personalization. The DoubleClick case, however, did nothing to nail down exactly where that line is or when it gets crossed — or even who determines any of that. In other words, the privacy line may be more blurred than ever before.

Tug of War

Boiled down to its essence, the problem is this: Virtually all online shoppers demand privacy. Makes sense.

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