Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. told lawmakers July 9 that Congress should pass basic privacy legislation to protect information about consumers, such as the data being gathered about people’s web surfing habits in order to pinpoint internet advertising, the Associated Press reports. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on online advertising, representatives of the two technology rivals said meaningful privacy rules should be based on three core principles: Consumers should be clearly notified what information is being collected about them; people should control how that information is used; and such data should be secured to ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands. The Commerce Committee held its hearing amid mounting concern about the volume of personal information being gathered about consumers as they surf the web—including the sites they visit and the search terms they look up—as well as the many ways that information is mined to deliver targeted ads. While Congress has not taken up a comprehensive privacy bill, privacy watchdogs are hoping that the July 9 hearing could lay the foundation for eventual legislation…

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