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Advisory: Story on profiling in website ads withdrawn

(Reuters) - Please be advised that a November 25 article reporting that Instantcheckmate.com's advertising relies on racial profiling has been withdrawn. The story, "Professor finds profiling in ads for personal data website," contains errors.

The headline of the article and the article itself incorrectly assert that Harvard Professor Latanya Sweeney's research showed that Instantcheckmate.com, an online background research website, had engaged in racial profiling in its advertisements.

Sweeney says the preliminary results of the research found "significant discrimination" in Instantcheckmate.com's online ad search results, but were insufficient for the article's assertion of deliberate racial profiling by Instant Checkmate. Her research is ongoing. Instant Checkmate denies any such activity, which it describes as being at odds with the company's values. The company says further that it hasn't seen Sweeney's research.

There will be no substitute story.

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