President Obama is throwing his weight behind a consumer bill of rights that includes protections against online companies in particular, and aims to safeguard customer privacy
. While the plan doesn't come prepackaged with a new set of laws for companies to abide by, the Commerce Department is working to develop enforceable policies with help from the concerned parties. The bedrock of the new bill of rights is that consumers should have control over the kind of data companies collect and what they do with it. Internet firms would have to be transparent about what information is gathered and how it's used. There is also a call for limitations on the use of certain personal data. As part of the push a number of major players in the field, including Google, have agreed to include a "Do Not Track
in their browsers
and to honor
the system -- the latter being a tiny detail that has made implementations of the feature ineffective until now. Hit up the source links for a few more details.