September 28, 2011
Representatives Call On FTC To Look Into Use Of ‘Supercookies’
Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Markey have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into MSN.com and Hulu.com's installation of cookies onto users' computers that are unable to be deleted.
The two lawmakers asked FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz what the agency plans to do about the companies' use of "supercookies"
The supercookies are placed on a user's computer when they visit websites that want to collect personal data. The lawmakers said these super cookies are able to recreate a user's profile after less powerful cookies are deleted.
"We believe this new business practice raises serious privacy concerns and is unacceptable," they wrote in the letter.
"We believe the usage of supercookies takes away consumer control over their own personal information, presents a greater opportunity for misuse of personal information, and provides another way for consumers to be tracked online."
The representatives are both co-chairman of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus.
Microsoft and other companies were sued in August for allegedly using supercookies, but the lawsuit was dismissed because the plaintiff could not quantify the monetary damage.
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