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24/7 Media hires exec to tackle privacy

The online marketing company is the latest Net company to add a chief privacy officer to its executive lineup--a position that's becoming popular in the Web corporate world.

Online marketing company 24/7 Media is the latest Net company to add a chief privacy officer to its executive lineup--a position that is becoming increasingly popular in the digital corporate world.

The company today said Christine Frye, 37, will lead a privacy task force and report to general counsel, Mark Moran.

"We needed someone who is solely interested in compliance and fulfilling the promises made to Internet users without the concerns of whether it will affect the ability to hit the numbers," Moran said.

With consumers increasingly worried about how information is collected about them while surfing the Net, many companies are hiring officers like Frye and giving them broad authority to protect the private data.

In May, for example, online advertising company DoubleClick appointed seven new members to its recently created Privacy Advisory Board. It was the company's latest effort to refurbish its image amid criticism from consumer groups and regulators.

And over the summer, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., pushed for a privacy czar who would coordinate information protection among federal agencies.

At 24/7 Media, Frye will keep abreast of legislation and advocacy groups and make sure the company's newly devised privacy policy remains intact. She said her salary package is still in negotiations.

Last month, 24/7 Media bought online marketer Website Results for $95 million in stock, gaining more customers including eBay and E*Trade. Frye previously worked at Exactis, an email marketer, which was bought out by 24/7 Media in June.