Spyware legislation could curtail consumer choice: IAB tells Congress

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau has asked Congress to protect consumers' access to information on the Internet as well as guard against pressure from interest groups to pass spyware legislation that would hinder e-commerce and the free flow of information.

Proposed spyware legislation could restrict consumer choice and hinder the growth of advertising that is proving to be one of the Internet's economic underpinnings, IAB Public Policy Council chairman and Tacoda boss Dave Morgan told House members yesterday.

Acknowledging Congress' needs to protect Americans' privacy and choice, Mr. Morgan said "there is always a risk that legislation that governs complicated technology could result in limiting and/or stifling innovation.

"We want to ensure that the availability of free content online continues to grow and that consumers receive the richest, most relevant Internet experience without unduly burdening the advertising engine that makes these Web sites run," he said.

The IAB was one of several organizations testifying yesterday at the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection's legislation hearing on H.R. 964, "Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act."

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