The Obama administration is calling for stronger privacy protections for consumers as mobile gadgets, Internet services and other tools are able to do a better job of tracking what you do and where you go.
Administration officials outlined a proposed "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" on Thursday and urged technology companies, consumer groups and others to jointly craft new protections. Such guidelines would initially be voluntary for companies, but those that agree to abide by them could be subject to sanctions for any violations.
"As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "That's why an online privacy Bill of Rights is so important. For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure."
The effort comes as companies have found more sophisticated ways to collect and combine data on your interests and habits. Beginning next week, for instance, Google will start merging data it collects from email, video, social-networking and other services when you're signed in with a Google account.