EU may ease up on cookie law proposal

The European Union could succumb to industry pressure and amend controversial proposals for legislation on the use of cookies,...

The European Union could succumb to industry pressure and amend controversial proposals for legislation on the use of cookies, following a decision last week by a committee of the European Parliament to reject parts of the proposed law.

The planned legislation on the protection of personal data, which the European Parliament will vote on in May, requires businesses to provide "advance information" before cookies - tools designed to ease a user's movement between Web pages and track their usage habits - are served.

The Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs rejected this proposal, put forward by the European Council, which is made up of heads of state and ministers from member states.

The move to soften the proposal, allowing users to opt out of receiving cookies, follows industry pressure from Internet, advertising and employment groups, which said the legislation would cost Web site owners millions and threaten e-commerce targets.

The European Parliament will vote on the proposal on 13 May.

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