Just about every Web site you visit, including this one, keeps track of details such as who you are, where you come from, and what you look at on the site and for how long. But some go even further to please advertisers, who may know what kind of books you read, what you search for, whom your friends are and more. Enter the House of Representatives.
Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and a couple of his colleagues are working on legislation that would set some long-overdue privacy ground rules for the Internet. —PS
Boucher expects to set different rules for different types of sites. Sites that collect visitor information in order to target advertising on their own pages, for instance, would have to offer consumers a chance to opt out of having their interests tracked. These sites would also be required to prominently disclose what information they collect and provide a detailed description of how that information is used.
Web sites that deal with sensitive personal information, such as medical and financial data, sexual orientation, Social Security numbers and other ID numbers, would have to ask users to opt in to being tracked.