Members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection today heard a chorus of support from various industry representatives for a proposed new spyware bill.
But that support was tempered with calls for caution by some who fear the bill, without some modifications, could harm Internet advertisers.
The bill, dubbed the Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (Spy Act), is sponsored by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and would make it unlawful to install software that gathers information, monitors usage, serves up advertisements or modifies browser and other settings on a computer without explicit user consent. Violations would be treated as unfair or deceptive trade practices subject to enforcement action by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The bill also allows fines of up to $3 million for some types of violations.