Vanderbilt University professor Donna L. Hoffman worked with Nielsen Media Research to design the survey, but says she endorsed the preliminary report without having seen the raw data.
Hoffman claims material released later shows that the demographics of the 4,200 people interviewed for the study do not adequately represent the population as a whole. She says that the study's findings, which include an estimate that there are more than 24 million highly educated and affluent adults using the Internet in the United States and Canada, may be inflated by millions.
Officials at both CommerceNet (a group of businesses seeking to promote commerce on the Net) and Nielsen have defended the study's findings. CommerceNet says it will make the study's underlying data available for review to qualified academic researchers on Friday, December 15.