From: Ann Thryft []
Sent: Monday, 21 February, 2000 12:44 PM
Subject: ACOAS Meeting 2-25 Comments
Re the Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security meeting 2-25-00:

Re the agenda item(s) about collection of consumer information online by commercial Websites, most specifically in re the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) complaint against DoubleClick, Inc. recently submitted to the FTC:

The Committee needs to know that the so-called "Opt-Out" options provided and heavily promoted by DoubleClick within the last week are not opt-out options at all.  As mentioned in 1) an article in the San Francisco Chronicle 2-15-00, page C1, by Carol Emert, Web link and 2) as mentioned in the U.S. News & World Report, News You Can Use/Personal Tech item by Dana Hawkins in the February 7 print issue, page 63, Web link, going to either of these links and attempting to "opt out" of DoubleClick's collection of information necessitates that the consumer accept a PERMANENT cookie in order for DoubleClick and/or its advertiser clients to NOT assign another cookie in the future.

This is NOT opting out. This is perpetuating the use of permanent cookies. Those of us who wish to surf the Web in privacy usually turn off cookies in our browsers before we do so. When we wish to make an online purchase that requires a cookie, we simply turn that option on in the browser, then when the purchase has been made, turn the cookies option off in the browser and DISCARD the cookie immediately.

None of the commercial Websites from which I make purchases require that a PERMANENT cookie be kept on my computer--not a single one. Moreover, on my system and most other systems, there is no way to distinguish between one cookie and another. In order for DoubleClick's so-called "opt-out" option to work, I would have to keep ALL cookies permanently. This is a very, very bad idea for security reasons.

DoubleClick is clearly attempting to pull the wool over everyone's eyes with this totally bogus solution.


Ann R. Thryft
1342 Palos Verdes Dr. #3
San Mateo, CA