Google buys Doubleclick: congressman wants answers

Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick has drawn a lot of scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic it was announced last April, and continues to do so as the year draws to a close. Consumer groups have expressed their concerns over the privacy implications of such a deal, since both companies have harvested massive amounts of consumer data in order to build their advertising networks. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) believes the companies haven’t been forthcoming about how they’ll address those concerns, leading him to demand answers in a letter sent to Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier in the week week.

In a copy of the letter seen by Ars, Barton reminds Schmidt that the CEO promised to help Barton and his staff better understand the company’s search and targeted advertising practices. According to the letter, when Barton tried to send staff to Google’s campus to discuss the matter, they were turned away. “Since then, all efforts to reach a mutually agreeable time have been rebuffed, and it begins to seem that no date for a visit is sufficiently convenient to Google,” wrote Barton. “Your warm initial invitation followed by Google’s chilly response to a proposed visit by Committee counsels is disconcerting.” (link)


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