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Lawmakers Want FTC Probe of Website Tracking Files

Photo: Janet Walls

Two House lawmakers are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the use of so-called supercookies on websites, files that users do not know are on their computers.

Reps. Joe Barton (R-Tx.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairmen of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, sent a letter Monday to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The letter says a probe of supercookies would fall under the FTC’s mandate to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive business practices.

“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 lawmakers wrote.

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