Web publishers could leave Holland if the country's parliament adopts a strict internet privacy law in response to the European Union's internet privacy directive.
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The EC directive calls for member states to legally require publishers to obtain consent from web users before tracking their online behaviour using cookies. Cookies are files downloaded and stored on users' computers.
Cookies can track online behaviour, such as users' buying habits or the web pages they visit. Cookies are widely used to pass this information to advertising companies.
The Dutch law, which the Netherlands parliament is likely to approve this week, is controversial because of a last-minute amendment requiring web publishers to prove users' consent, according to the Financial Times.
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Website developers and online advertisers claim the amendment will create headaches for developers. They say it could lead Netherlands-based web publishers to move operations elsewhere in the European Union where the privacy directive is less strictly applied.