CWmike writes "The Obama Administration is backing a new data privacy bill of rights aimed at protecting consumers against indiscriminate online tracking and data collection by advertisers. In recent times, high-profile examples of a need for improving privacy laws include Facebook's personal data collection practices and Google's problems over its Street View Wi-Fi snooping issue. In testimony prepared for the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation, the Commerce Department's assistant secretary, Lawrence Strickling, said that the White House wants Congress to enact legislation offering 'baseline consumer data privacy protections.' Strickling said the administration's call for new online privacy protections stems from recommendations made by the Commerce Department in a paper released in December. The administration's support for privacy protections is very significant, said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham Law School who specializes in privacy issues. 'This is the first time since 1974 that the U.S. government has supported mandatory general privacy rules,' Reidenberg said."