Sens. Seek Supercookie Info From Verizon

Concerned About Third-Party Tracking of Customers' Web Use

Sesame Street fan Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has joined with minority leaders on the Senate Commerce Committee to register their concern about a new and far less harmless Cookie Monster.

In a letter to Verizon chairman Lowell McAdam, the senators wanted questions answered in the wake of a report that third-party ad company Turn had been using Verizon's so-called supercookies, which smartphone users can't delete, to covertly track users' net surfing even after those surfing records had been deleted.

“As a majority of Americans are turning to their smartphones to access the Internet, it is even more critical that we remain vigilant in protecting the privacy of consumers when they use their mobile devices,” they wrote.

Turn has suspended the practice, they said, but that did not change what they saw as a deliberate circumvention of consumer choice and a violation of privacy.