House Passes Anti-Spyware Bills

Share this content:
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation designed to fight spyware that infects computers with tracking software.

The SPY ACT (Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass) passed in a 399-1 vote Tuesday night. It sets disclosure requirements for companies that distribute software that tracks Web users' behavior. It requires that customers choose to install the software and agree to the collection of information. The bill also requires the Federal Trade Commission to set rules and handle enforcement.

The bill, sponsored by Mary Bono, R-CA, calls for fines of up to $3 million for those found guilty of spreading the most virulent forms of spyware, such as keystroke loggers that collect personal information.

The Senate is considering its own spyware bill, the SPY BLOCK Act (Software Principles Yielding Better Levels of Consumer Knowledge), sponsored by CAN-SPAM Act supporter Conrad Burns, R-MT. It also requires disclosure and mandates that software be easy to uninstall.

The congressional action comes as spyware gains a place alongside spam as a threat to Internet use. A study released Monday by EarthLink found that the average computer it scanned in the third quarter had 25 types of spyware on it. The audit included everything from system-monitoring software to adware to advertising cookies.

Adware makers Claria and have fought to keep legislation from infringing on their desktop ad services, which show contextual marketing messages tied to Web browsing habits.

"This is a great bill with real teeth that will separate legitimate desktop advertising from deceptive players and really help clean up the industry," WhenU president Avi Naider wrote in an e-mail message.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above