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
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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 cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.