WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House this week circulated legislation aimed at encouraging U.S. businesses to do more to protect consumer privacy. But privacy advocates were pushing back even before its release, saying it does nothing to hold businesses accountable for misusing a consumer's personal information.

WASHINGTON (AP) The White House this week circulated legislation aimed at encouraging U.S. businesses to do more to protect consumer privacy. But privacy advocates were pushing back even before its release, saying it does nothing to hold businesses accountable for misusing a consumer's personal information.

According to a draft obtained by The Associated Press, the bill identifies seven principles for safeguarding personal data, including giving Americans the right to access information that technology and marketing companies gather online. It says businesses should act with transparency and take steps to protect that data from being leaked or misused.

The bill also encourages industries to draft "privacy codes of conduct." The Federal Trade Commission could take action against a company if it violates its own code.

"There is rapid growth in the volume and variety of personal data being generated, collected, stored and analyzed," the draft bill states. "This growth has the potential for great benefits to human knowledge, technological innovation and economic growth, but also the potential to harm individual privacy and freedom. Laws must keep pace as technology and businesses practices evolve."

Privacy advocates said the bill wouldn't require industry to do anything that wasn't voluntary. They said it keeps the FTC from being able to enforce tough standards by not giving the independent regulator the power to write rules that companies would have to follow. Among the biggest sticking points is a provision in the bill that stipulates the bill pre-empts state laws, which are often tougher, such as in California.

A White House spokesman reached by email declined to comment.