REDMOND, Wash., and OAKLAND, Calif. — July 22, 2007 — Building on their respective efforts to protect consumer privacy, industry leaders Microsoft Corp. and Ask.com, a wholly owned business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), today joined together in the commitment to call on the industry to develop global privacy principles for data collection, use and protection related to searching and online advertising. The companies will work with other technology leaders, consumer advocacy organizations and academics to come together and join them in working on the development of these principles, which could include developing and sharing best practices to provide more control for consumers.
“As search and other online services progress, it’s important for our customers to be able to trust that their information is being used appropriately and in a way that provides value to them,” said Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft. “We hope others in the industry will join us in developing and supporting principles that address these important issues. People should be able to search and surf online without having to navigate a complicated patchwork of privacy policies.”
“Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, but people should have access to privacy controls based on their level of comfort around the storage of their search data,” said Doug Leeds, vice president of product management at Ask.com. “We’re committed to developing new ways to give consumers the control they are entitled to when it comes to searching online, and hope others will join us in engaging in dialogue on these important issues.”
Microsoft and Ask.com are proposing that leading search providers, online advertising companies and privacy advocates convene to engage in an active dialogue to discuss privacy considerations posed by the proliferation of online advertising and search. The goal of the dialogue is to determine ways that the industry can work cooperatively to define privacy principles that take these new considerations into account. The companies will provide an update on their progress in September.
A leading search engine on the Web, Ask.com combines world-class search technology with one-of-a-kind search tools to help people get what they are looking for faster. Ask.com sites include Ask.com US (www.Ask.com), Ask.com Deutschland, Ask.com Espana, Ask.com France, Ask.com Italia, Ask.com Japan, Ask.com Nederlands and Ask.com UK. Additionally, Ask.com syndicates its search technology and advertising units to a network of affiliate partners. Ask.com is a division of IAC Search & Media, a wholly-owned business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).
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