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Senators Propose Bill To Protect The Privacy Of Smartphone Users

June 17, 2011 by  

Senators Propose Bill To Protect The Privacy Of Smartphone Users

Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require companies that manufacture mobile devices to receive express consent from consumers before sharing information about those users’ locations with third parties.

“After listening to expert testimony at the hearing I chaired last month on mobile technology and privacy and hearing from anti-domestic violence groups in Minnesota who said this kind of technology can be exploited by abusers, I concluded that our laws do too little to protect information on our mobile devices,” Franken said, according to a press release.

The Location Privacy Protection Act seeks to close current loopholes in Federal law, ensuring that consumers know what location information is being collected about them by their mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) and allow them to decide if they want to share it.

“As smartphone technology continues to advance, it is vitally important that we keep pace with new developments to make sure consumer data is secure from being shared or sold without proper notification to consumers,” Blumenthal said.

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  • http://burkecomputers.blogspot.com/ DanB

    So government will make more laws to protect me from “big, bad business” but what if it isn’t so much big, bad business I am afraid of. I am more concerned about big, bad government. Warrantless phone taps, tracking, and so forth. All this concern that big business might be sharing your data but a government official can come in and request it all without so much as a whisper…. In fact, the businesses cannot legally even tell you that the government took all that data. If big business abuses my personal data, if nothing else, I can shop for another company to do business if it bothers me. But if big government is gobbling up my personal data, what options do I have? Moving to another country is not as easy as switching cellphone providers. Most countries have tough immigration laws (and standards).

    • http://teamlaw.org Jazzabelle

      You hit the nail on the head, DanB. What we really need is a company willing to give consumers the option to NOT have the info collected in the first place!

    • lkar

      I would oppose this bill just because of the bills sponsors. Really, do you think Al Franken listened to expert testimony or was he sleeping?

    • JC

      Privacy from both government and corporate interests should be automatic.

  • Roger

    GREAT more laws to protect stupid us. ENOUGH!! Al sit down and shut up.
    Can anyone name just one thing we do that is NOT regulated and or taxed?

    • Robert Smith

      Question asked: “Can anyone name just one thing we do that is NOT regulated and or taxed?”

      I’d like to say sex but the right wing had done that to quite an invasive degree.

      Fortunately there are those who support personal freedoms.

      Rob

  • chuckb

    does this mean the law would not be able to track some one by their cell phone!? that would be understandable coming from franken and the other bo;sheviks, they don’t want anyone especially the law to know what they are up to or where they may be doing it. if you are not doing something wrong then why worry about it.

    • JC

      chuckb says:

      June 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

      does this mean the law would not be able to track some one by their cell phone!? that would be understandable coming from franken and the other bo;sheviks, they don’t want anyone especially the law to know what they are up to or where they may be doing it. if you are not doing something wrong then why worry about it.
      ___________________________________________________________________

      Is that the same as saying that since I have nothing to hide my life should be an open book?

      I don’t think so, Having nothing to hide does not diminish my right to privacy. Nor does it grant anyone the privelege of tracking my finances, my interests, my hobbies, my circle of friends, my political beliefs….nothing! period!

      • chuckb

        jc, my concern is franken, this guy is such a creep, anything he would sponsor would run up a red flag. i questioned it in the way the police could use to track down criminals, kidnappers and such. i doubt if franken is concerned about the consumer. this guy is such a subversive he probably wants to protect his activities. of course i appreciate my own privacy and wouldn’t want some company to gather information in order to sell it for profit. as long as police can use the equipment to track phone locations, that’s fine with me. “franken is not.”

  • Bob from Calif.

    Business and government should not be allowed to gather any data especially location data that can be used to create an individual profile. This should all be kept private. The police and city officials should stop trying to circumvent our fourth amendment rights by using a companies data or even sneaking a peak into someones backyard using Google satellites. None of them should have access to any of this information without a warrant. If the police need the info, they should gather it themselves, it should not be so easily accessed on some business hard drive. They need to stop compromising and start respecting the Constitution. If not we need to get our tea bags ready and start a party.

    • Allan

      Think about it. We’ve been filling out forms all our lives. The info is out there thousands of times. I ran a company and used to provide annual survey data to Dun and Bradstreet so that we had a “good” rating in our industry…until a stockbroker who had been hounding me explained that he had purchased the information from D&B. When I called D&B on it, they offered to mark my record as “private”. I ended the relationship on the spot. But that is the default practice for many companies. Here’s a question: If someone, perhaps from “the media” came to your door and offered you money for information about your neighbor, would you take it? Even the Better Business Buread recently was caught selling information. The best defenese is to not fill out parts of a form that you do not approve of. Oftentimes if you make your objection known, the entity will back down.

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