The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on December 13, 2012, including the Location Privacy Protection Act. The bill, however, was not enacted in the last Congress.
Watch the video here (meeting starts at 21 min into video).
- Substitute Amendment HEN12877 (Franken) Adopted By Unanimous Consent
For more information and links to the amendments listed above, please visit Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Location-Tracking Apps Would Need Permission in U.S. Bill – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Expect Elizabeth Warren on Senate Judiciary Committee (legalinsurrection.com)
- Senate Judiciary Committee Passes ECPA, Which Will Require Warrants For Messages and Emails (betabeat.com)
- Senate Committee Moves Forward with Internet Privacy Bill (legaltimes.typepad.com)
- Senate Judiciary Committee approves bill requiring authorities to obtain warrants for email records (theverge.com)
Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable, Dec 17, 2012
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is championing the cause of data privacy — specifically, he wants to keep the smartphone locations of women and children a secret from stalkers and third-party companies. Franken’s new bill, the Location Protection Privacy Act of 2012, would outlaw so-called “stalking apps,” software specifically designed to track a person’s movements via their phone’s GPS signal and which is marketed for nefarious purposes. What are stalking apps used for?During testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Franken told the story of a Minnesota woman whose abuser was sending threatening text messages based on her location.
For full text of the article, visit Senator Wants to Keep Women’s GPS Data Away From Stalkers.
Congressional Research Service Summary
Latest Title: Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Franken, Al [MN] (introduced 6/16/2011) Cosponsors (6)
Latest Major Action: 12/17/2012 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 567.
Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 – Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit a nongovernmental individual or entity engaged in the business of offering or providing a service to electronic communications devices from knowingly collecting, obtaining, or disclosing to a nongovernmental individual or entity geolocation information from an electronic communications device without the express authorization of the individual using the device. Defines “geolocation information” as any information concerning the location of an electronic communications device and used to identify or approximate the location of the electronic communications device or the individual using the device. Makes exceptions: (1) necessary to locate a minor child or provide fire, medical public safety, or other emergency services; (2) for the sole purpose of transmitting the geolocation information to the individual or another authorized recipient; or (3) expressly required by state, regulation, or appropriate judicial process.
Press Release, Sen. Franken, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation that would require companies like Apple and Google, as well as app developers to receive express consent from users of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets before sharing information about those users’ location with third parties. The bill, called the Location Privacy Protection Act, would 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.
“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,” said Sen. Franken. “Geolocation technology gives us incredible benefits, but the same information that allows emergency responders to locate us when we’re in trouble is not necessarily information all of us want to share with the rest of the world. This legislation would give people the right to know what geolocation data is being collected about them and ensure they give their consent before it’s shared with others.”
“This legislation is a strong step toward ensuring that consumers’ geolocation information is protected from being collected and stored without their consent,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “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.”
The bill is endorsed by the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumers Union, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Consumers League, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.
To read a one-page summary of the legislation, click here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
News by Bryan Chaffin, The Mac Observer, 7:05 PM, Apr. 25th, 2011
Senator Al Franken has convened a Senate hearing on mobile privacy to be held on May 10th, and tops on the list of invitees are Google, maker of the Android operating system, and Apple, maker of the iPhone and iOS. Titled, “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy,” the hearing was announced as controversy about the ways in which both companies might be collecting data about their users has mounted.
- Smart phones’ location tracking: A brewing privacy tempest? (news.consumerreports.org)
- Microsoft collects locations of Windows phone users (news.cnet.com)
By Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, April 22, 2011
Questioning Apple’s privacy policies has become a bicameral proposition. Twenty-four hours after researchers provided a new open-source tool for iPhone users to view their phone’s logged location history, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) have both issued sets of questions for Apple CEO Steve Jobs. While Franken’s letter requests a “prompt” response, Markey wants answers “within fifteen business days.”
For full text of the article, visit Rep. Ed Markey wants privacy answers from Steve Jobs (again).
- Rep. Ed Markey wants privacy answers from Steve Jobs (again) (arstechnica.com)
- Congressmen Press Steve Jobs On iPhone Tracking (huffingtonpost.com)
- Apple location tracker file: Congressman asks Steve Jobs to explain by May 12 (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Does the iPhone Location Tracker Revelation Worry You? (usnews.com)
- Lawmakers demand answers from Apple over iPhone tracking (news.cnet.com)
- It’s Not Just Apple That Is Tracking Our Every Movement (TCTV) (techcrunch.com)
Nancy Scola, TechPresident, April 22, 2011 – 11:27am
There have been some grumbling in tech circles ever since Apple tracker-gate broken that this was the worst kept secret the developer world. Everybody knew iOS devices were tracking your movements to and fro. But somehow Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, a pair of programmers, put up on a post on O’Reilly Radar and now, suddenly, we have Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Ed Markey writing angry letters to Steve Jobs. But let me suggest that there’s an interesting wrinkle to what has gone down with Apple tracker-grate that has implications for everything from open source to open government to open data to the the political applications of mapping to, yes, the future of journalism.
For full text of the article via Why Apple Tracker-Gate Is the Future of Journalism | techPresident.
- Track your own iPhone (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- Cool or Creepy? Your iPhone and iPad Are Keeping Track of Everywhere You Go, And You Can See It (blogs.forbes.com)
- Researchers: iPhones and iPads track your movements (news.consumerreports.org)
by Sean Gorman, GeoIQ Blog, April 22, 2011
Like many of you I’ve been tracking all the “hub bub” about Pete Warden and Allisdair Allen’s iPhone location exploit. There has been not only sensationalist media hype, but also claims of this being old news. Having been a victim of media hype and not particularly having any privacy concerns around my iPhone – I liberated my iPhone location data (ok Justin actually did it) and uploaded it to GeoCommons. Seeing my tracks was pretty cool, but you can do that with Pete and Allisdairs clever package out of the box. I wanted to investigate how much of my privacy was actually revealed by the data. …
For full text of the article, visit: Liberating My Data from the iPhone.