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Feb. 6 — Senate Democrats Feb. 6 urged federal regulators to investigate recent reports that “supercookies” developed by Verizon Wireless have been used to track the habits of cellphone users.
Members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the panel's raking member, raised the matter in letters to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
Meanwhile, Nelson is looking at whether legislation is needed to regulate the use of supercookies, according to a press release.
“This whole supercookie business raises the specter of corporations being able to peek into the habits of Americans without their knowledge or consent,” Nelson said. “That’s why I think we need to get to the bottom of this and perhaps new legislation.”
The letters to the FTC and FCC were also signed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.).
Using Verizon-developed supercookies, a third-party advertiser was able to gather information on customers' wireless Internet activity, according to press reports. Supercookies are generally considered to be more difficult for users to remove from their devices than regular cookies.
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The letter to the FCC can be found at http://op.bna.com/der.nsf/r?Open=sfre-9tgsrf.
The letter to the FTC is available at http://op.bna.com/der.nsf/r?Open=sfre-9tgst5.
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