Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., plans to introduce an online privacy bill that would create standards for how consumer information is collected and used for marketing, reports the Washington Post. The bill also would give users more control over how their internet activity and profiles are accessed by advertisers and web sites. Kerry’s bill, announced in a July 27 news release during a hearing on online privacy held by the Senate commerce committee, follows two privacy bills introduced in the House in recent months aimed at protecting sensitive information such as health and financial data. Kerry said he hopes his bill will be passed at the beginning of the next Congress. The legislative proposals add momentum to a push by consumer groups to create stronger federal rules for how companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com, and Google can track user activity and place ads based on that information. Facebook faced criticism for creating complex changes to its privacy polices last year that made some data more publicly available. Apple and AT&T were criticized for a data breach that revealed the network identities of iPad users, while Google said it accidentally snooped on residential Wi-Fi networks as it collected information for location-based applications. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, meanwhile, noted during the hearing that web sites and advertisers have been working to come up with their own rules for how to collect and use information in a way that doesn’t violate privacy rights…

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