January 3, 2000

Federal Trade Commission
Room H-159
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Secretary:

I write to nominate myself to the Advisory Committee on Online Access and Security – Nomination, P004807. Please find enclosed two copies of this letter and an electronic version in Microsoft Word 2000 format. I have considerable interest and experience in online privacy issues. The bulk of my experience and interest in online privacy stems from three activities: academic work in traditional and online survey research; starting and running a high-profile New Media Workshop at Yale University; and private sector experience in digital measurement with a new internet start-up. In summary, experience as an assistant professor at Yale University combined with the fact that I co-founded a now funded digital measurement company allows for me to represent a broad variety of interests.

First and foremost, my position as an assistant professor in the department of political science at Yale Univeristy has provided the opportunity to pursue research in tracking web-users’ behavior and measuring their attitudes through online surveys. This has led to my interest in issues of privacy that are associated with this work. I have also founded a New Media Workshop at Yale. The workshop addresses important topics ranging from the changing face of ecommerce to a variety issues of privacy, including the feasibility of self-monitoring by private companies, disclosure policy, and technological issues such as the use of "cookies." The workshop has several notable speakers for the Spring 2000 term, including Martin Nisenholtz (President of the New York Times on the Web); Merrill Brown (President of; Nicholas Butterworth (President of; and Cella Irvine (President of the New York New Media Association). The workshop is interdisciplinary in nature with participation from the University’s professional schools including the School of Management and the Law School. Other departments, including computer science, political science, sociology and economics also participate. The workshop reflects my inter-disciplinary approach to study privacy, which I believe would help the committee.

My experience in the private sector includes the founding of, a digital measurment company based in Manhattan. TrueMetrix is a angel-funded startup that leverages the buying patterns of its consumer panel, which is made up of consumers who use TrueMetrix’s free product and services portal, to conduct targeted online surveys and interactive focus groups. Of course, privacy is an extremely important issue for TrueMetrix. One of my responsibilities in heading up the market research division is to develop a responsible privacy policy for the company.

I hope that my experience at Yale University along with a considerable amount of experience in the private sector merits my selection to the committee. I look forward to hearing back from the commission.

Best Regards,

John S. Lapinski