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Industry Groups to Powwow on Spyware

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At least four advertising trade associations will hold a powwow next week to assess the outcome new proposed spyware legislation will have on legitimate marketers and consumers, ClickZ News has learned.

The meeting, to be held in Washington D.C. on January 25, will include representatives of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the National Business Coalition for E-Commerce and Privacy.

Participants will discuss HR 29, the SPY-ACT (a.k.a., the Bono Bill), a proposed piece of federal legislation with broad implications for the use of third-party cookies. The associations’ representatives will also discuss underlying issues surrounding the use and public perception of cookies and Web beacons.

“It’s an opportunity for the industry to sit down and talk about our thoughts on HR 29 and coordinate our thinking,” said Trevor Hughes, chair of the NAI’s Email Service Provider Coalition. “If we find common points we’re concerned about, we’ll coordinate our discussions on them and… share information.”

Hughes characterized the get-together as a forum for discussing the issues rather than formulating a plan to take concerns up with legislators.

Some of the trade groups’ member companies will be in attendance, but the meeting will consist mainly of the associations’ direct representatives.

Hughes said the meeting was called in response to the initiation of significant legislation that could effect both consumers and businesses. Ultimately, the NAI and other groups hope to engage the vendors of anti-spyware tools in a public discussion on the uses of third-party cookies and other ad methods. That is not the point of next week’s event, which will only serve to discuss the bill’s significance, he said.

The industry summit will take place at the offices of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, a Capital area law firm. The DMA is the event’s official host.

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