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Rep. Barton Calls for Ban on New Web Tracking Tools Rep. Barton Calls for Ban on New Web Tracking Tools Rep. Barton Calls for Ban on New Web Tracking Tools Rep. Barton Calls for Ban...

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Congress

Rep. Barton Calls for Ban on New Web Tracking Tools

August 19, 2011

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, called on Friday for a ban on so-called "supercookies" that allow companies to track online activity.

On Thursday The Wall Street Journal reported that some websites such as Hulu and MSN were using tools that tracked users online even after other tracking files, or "cookies," were removed.

"I find the most recent news of these so-called 'supercookies' disturbing and the fact that major websites like Hulu and MSN didn't know they were attached to their products is just plain frightening," Barton said in a statement. "Supercookies are legal, but I don't think they should be. It is just one more tool that can be used to track people or even find out their financial information."

Barton, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a follow-up statement saying he plans to discuss ideas for banning supercookies with the committee's Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., as well as Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a fellow co-chairman of the Bipartisan Privacy Caucus.

Congress is considering several pieces of legislation which would restrict the ways companies can track users' activities online, as well as give consumers more tools for controlling how their information is used.

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