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Anti-Cookie Anti-Spyware Bill Reintroduced to Congress

California Rep. Mary Bono reintroduced the "Bono Bill," H.R. 29, to congress on Wednesday, according to MediaPost. On the way to banning various forms of spyware, the bill bans many uses of cookies, including the tracking of individuals across sites. This version of the bill does make exceptions for cookies planted by internet service providers or for sites that wish to use cookies for the limited purposes of identifying returning users and providing customized preferences. These and other provisions would put certain metrics firms, like Hitwise, in a powerful position and tumble others that require the use of cookies. Similarly, adware firms that have large networks of people who have given explicit permission to track site behavior would vault ahead of the more traditional website ad networks in targeting abilities. If the bill became law, most current forms of behavioral online targeting would become illegal. Chief executives of several of the most prominent ad network firms say that the subtleties of the final version of an anti-spyware bill will likely be decided in the Senate.

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