U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bills that seek to control how spyware can be used and deployed on people's computers. The bills, HR 744 and HR 29, prohibit spyware that repeatedly cascades ads or content, redirects users seeking one site to another, and is not possible to uninstall from computers. Under HR 29, there are provisions that require users' permission before installing software that collects personally identifiable information intended for use in targeted advertising.

"We are pleased that the House has taken this positive step toward a national standard that will protect consumers from unwanted and potentially damaging or illegal spyware," says Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president for government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association.

It's so nice to see the law being engaged to ensure certain basic computing rights, like being asked for consent before a software package is installed, or making it illegal for software to be installed that collects personally identifiable information such as credit card data from computers. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end for spyware.