SpicyBrownMustard writes: US Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) is contemplating the introduction of legislation that would essentially put an end to online advertising as we know it today, requiring advertisers to allow website users to "opt-in" before seeing any ads that use or create cookies for optimization or targeting purposes. "If Congress is leaning in that direction, it would mark a big shift in sentiment from last year, when some leading policymakers said that ISP-based targeting should require opt-in consent, but that cookie-based targeting requires only opt-out consent." This would result in a catastrophic shift in the only currently viable online economic model, destroying the ability of millions of small independent websites to survive.
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