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Europe gets strict with cookie use!

In efforts to boost confidence in the Internet, the European Parliament on Tuesday backed draft proposals to restrict the use of digital tracking devices known as "cookies".

In the latest twist to controversial legislation on enhanced privacy in electronic communication, the EU assembly stopped short of calling for a ban on unsolicited e-mail or "spam". But it asked member states to prohibit the use of cookies without the prior and explicit consent of users.

"The use of such devices should... be prohibited unless the explicit, well-informed and freely given consent of the user concerned as been obtained," the Parliament said in a report.

Industry representatives criticized the move, citing extra costs for operators. The requirement to give explicit consent every time a user visited a web page risked also slowing down Internet access making the medium less user-friendly.

"The legislation would require explicit prior consent from users every time they go to a site," Angela Mills, executive director of the European Publishers Council. "It would render the whole Internet experience very unfriendly."

News source: Reuters

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