WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Web sites we visit, the online links we click, the search queries we conduct -- all can give companies information useful for Internet ads.
But privacy watchdogs warn that too many people have no idea that Internet marketers are tracking their online habits. Mining that data to serve up targeted pitches is a practice known as behavioral advertising.
So Congress could be stepping in. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, is drafting a bill that would impose broad new rules on Web sites and advertisers.
But Web sites and advertisers insist a mandate could overwhelm consumers with privacy notices. The companies argue that it is more practical to simply allow people who do not want to be tracked to "opt out" of data collection.