Saturday, June 18, 2011

Franken's location privacy bill to close mobile tracking "loopholes"

Not content to let Apple and Google continue to sort out their location tracking policies on their own, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has introduced a new bill meant to "close current loopholes in federal law to ensure that consumers know what location information is being collected about them and allow them to decide if they want to share it."

Introduced with the help of Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011's main focus is to obtain express consent from mobile device users before their locations are collected and shared with third parties, such as advertisers. If the company doing the collecting—the senators are looking at you, Apple and Google—obtains information for more than 5,000 devices, the bill says it must take extra steps to protect that information from threats, inform customers about the existence of the information, and delete it immediately upon the user's request.

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