Microsoft says it will support a push by the Obama administration for new online new privacy legislation that would give Internet users more control over and access to the information collected about them as they browse the web.

“Consumer trust is vital to the growth of a vibrant Internet, and respect for privacy is a critical component to earning and maintaining that trust,” writes Brad Smith, the Microsoft general counsel, in a post this morning. “At Microsoft, our goal is to be transparent about our privacy practices, offer meaningful privacy choices and protect the security of our customers’ data.”

According to a Wall Street Journal report this morning, the administration’s proposal is expected to follow the outlines of a report issued in December by the US. Commerce Department. Erich Andersen, a Microsoft deputy general counsel, is scheduled to testify on the topic today during a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee.

The new Internet Explorer 9, released yesterday, includes a “Do Not Track” mechanism designed to give Internet users more control over their privacy. Google and Mozilla have followed Microsoft’s lead, announcing similar features of their own for the Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Good Morning Silicon Valley has more on the privacy legislation and the political maneuvering.

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