In a reversal of the federal government’s hands-off approach to Internet privacy regulation over the past decade, the Obama administration said Americans should have a “privacy bill of rights” to help regulate the commercial collection of consumer data online.

The administration also proposed the creation of a Privacy Policy Office that would coordinate online privacy issues in the U.S. and abroad.

The proposals, contained in an 88-page report released by the Commerce Department Thursday, reflect a rapid re-evaluation of online privacy in recent months as an area ripe for potential abuse with the emergence of an industry of data-gatherers who collect and sell personal details about people for marketing purposes.

Among the suggestions in the report: Companies should ask people for permission to use their data for a purpose other than for which it was collected, and submit to privacy audits.

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