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.
Daren M. Orzechowski, Allison M. Dodd, Imtiaz Yakub, White & Case, LLC, September 2011
The collection, use and disclosure of geolocation information [(i.e., geographic location)] obtained from customers’ mobile devices has become commonplace among mobile phone providers and third party application developers. … Current federal law allows companies to collect and share this information with third parties without the need to obtain consent from their customers. … In response to these privacy concerns, two federal bills, the Location Privacy Protection Act (“LPPA”) and the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act (“GPS Act”), were recently introduced. If enacted, this legislation would restrict the collection and use by non-governmental entities (and, in the case of the LPPA only, governmental entities including law enforcement agencies) of geolocation information collected by mobile devices without consumer consent. …
For full text of the article, visit White & Case LLP – Publications – Federal Legislation Introduced Regarding Geolocation Information.
- Federal Geolocation Bills Differ on Scope and Damages (Guest Blog Post) (ericgoldman.org)
- Geolocation explained – a quick screencast (hacks.mozilla.org)
- One Little Foursquare Privacy Change Now Makes a Big Difference (readwriteweb.com)
by Emma Macdonald, Hugh Wilson, and Umut Konus, The Conversation Blog, Harvard Business Review, May 5, 2011
How well do you know your customers? … While you can’t get that close to your customer, their mobile phones can. What if you could appropriate the phone to provide real-time updates on the customer’s behaviors, perceptions, and emotions? This is just what companies — from Coca-Cola to LG Electronics and Unilever — are doing by using a real-time experience tracking approach. …
The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, has scheduled a hearing entitled “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy” :
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Director, Project on Consumer Privacy
Center for Democracy and Technology
Director of Public Policy, Americas
Independent Researcher and Consultant
Guy L. “Bud” Tribble
Vice President of Software Technology
Association for Competitive Technology
- BREAKING: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint CEOs Set to Testify (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Apple, Google summoned to Senate hearing on mobile device privacy (arstechnica.com)
- Apple, Google Summoned to Senate Hearing On Mobile Device Privacy (wired.com)
- Senate Judiciary names Franken head of new privacy, tech subcommittee (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
Apple Lied: Filed Patent for Mobile Device Tracking, Infosec Island, Friday, April 29, 2011
Apple’s claim that the geolocation tracking of its customers via a stealth file maintained in devices running the iOS operating system are, well, “patently” false. … Apple filed for a patent in September of 2009 titled “Location Histories for Location Aware Devices” with the intent to develop services based around the company’s ability to locate and track mobile devices running the iOS operating system. The abstract of the patent reads as follows:
“A location aware mobile device can include a baseband processor for communicating with one or more communication networks, such as a cellular network or WiFi network. In some implementations, the baseband processor can collect network information (e.g., transmitter IDs) over time. Upon request by a user or application, the network information can be translated to estimated position coordinates (e.g., latitude, longitude, altitude) of the location aware device for display on a map view or for other purposes. A user or application can query the location history database with a timestamp or other query to retrieve all or part of the location history for display in a map view.” …
For full text of the article, via Apple Lied: Filed Patent for Mobile Device Tracking.
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 Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Wall Street Journal, April 22, 20111
Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google Inc.‘s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data.Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones. … In the case of Google, according to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.
For full text of the article, visit Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Androids Send Cellphone Location – WSJ.com.
- Own an Android? An iPhone? Google & Apple may be tracking you. (lawafterthebar.wordpress.com)
- Apple, Google tap phone location data: report (msnbc.msn.com)
- Apple, Google Receive Phone Users’ Locations (online.wsj.com)