Most Read: Business

 Last Update: : AM 04/19/2015(NASDAQ&DJIA)

World Markets from      


Other Market Data from      


Key Rates from      


Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 09/27/2011

Lawmakers call for probe into supercookies

Lawmakers are calling for a probe into the tracking mechanisms known as “supercookies,” which are a more persistent type of the common cookie.

Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.), co-chairmen of the bipartisan privacy caucus in the House, wrote to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday to ask the agency to look into the supercookies, saying that they invade user privacy. and were both identified as Web sites using the new kind of tracking method in research from Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, the Wall Street Journal reported. Supercookies, which are legal, can re-create a user’s profile information even after he or she has deleted traditional cookies, the report said. Companies also use a tracking method that compares user histories against a set of 1,500 Web sites to build user profiles. Many sites found to be using the method were seemingly unaware of the fact. and Hulu both said that they have taken action to deal with the tracking.

Markey and Bardon said that they believe supercookie use could be in violation of the FTC’s rules regarding “unfair and deceptive acts of practices.

“I think supercookies should be outlawed because their existence eats away at consumer choice and privacy,” Barton said in a statement.

By  |  11:57 AM ET, 09/27/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company