Feeds

US lawmakers call for FTC probe of supercookies

Hundreds of sites caught employee secret snoop tech

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Two US lawmakers have called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the use of “supercookies” that secretly log web visitors' browsing histories across multiple sites, even when the users delete browser cookies to elude tracking.

In a letter sent Tuesday to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, the co-chairs of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus Edward Markey and Joe Barton said they believed a probe of supercookies falls within the consumer watchdog's mandate of protecting Americans from unfair and deceptive acts. The letter follows revelations that hundreds of websites, including Microsoft's MSN.com, Hulu.com, Spotify, and GigaOm have deployed sneaky code that reconstructs browsing-history cookies even after users have taken the trouble to delete them.

“We believe this new business practice raises serious privacy concerns and is unacceptable,” the congressmen wrote in their letter (PDF). “We are also very concerned about the extent of this practice by websites as well as the impact supercookies have on consumers. Furthermore, we believe the usage of supercookies takes away consumer control over their own personal information, presents a greater opportunity for the misuse of personal information, and provides another way for consumers to be tracked online.”

The practice of issuing supercookies and zombiecookies is the subject of several lawsuits. In August, Microsoft and several other companies sued for allegedly using them were dismissed because the plaintiff in the case couldn't quantify the monetary damages she suffered. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.