The US House of Representatives has toughen penalties on spyware vendors and criminalise the act of installing potentially dangerous software on a user's machine.
However the Bill, which must also go through the Senate, removes the right of a consumer to sue if spyware is put on their machine.
The "Internet Spyware Prevention Act" (aka "I-SPY") provides clear disclosures of potential spyware but also contains many exemptions that could enable security vendors to install spyware on users' machines and monitor their activities.
It also means that those suffering under the cases similar to the Sony rootkit scandal would have to rely on the government to act rather than suing.
Private lawsuits against Sony caused bad publicity for the company and forced it to settle the cases for millions of dollars.