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Ad Deal Sparks Privacy Concerns

CONSUMER PRIVACY—U.S.

February 9, 2010

The potential purchase of a firm specializing in mobile device advertising by a popular Internet search engine has privacy advocates bringing their concerns to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy have called on the FTC to block the proposed acquisition of AdMob by Google, due in part to concerns about the creation of "super data profiles" of their users. Citing the ability to combine user location and other information, John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog is questioning how such data could be "used and manipulated." AdMob Chief Executive Omar Hamoui, meanwhile, says the industry is taking privacy concerns seriously. The FTC has issued a "second request" for information.
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