By Alex Byers, Politico’s Morning Tech, April 12, 2013
CHAFFETZ: ‘EVERY CONFIDENCE’ THAT GPS ACT WILL CLEAR COMMITTEE – Rep. Jason Chaffetz is plenty positive when it comes to whether his bill – which would require law enforcement to score a warrant before obtaining the location of your cellphone – will pass the House Judiciary panel. “…”The last thing the major carriers or hardware companies want to do is have people become afraid of their phones or other mobile devices,” he said. Chaffetz said he didn’t have an exact timeline on next steps, although your MT-er has heard rumblings for a while about a location privacy hearing later this month. Chaffetz added that he’d prefer tackling the issue as a standalone item, instead of conflating the issue with email privacy reform – the opposite of what’s been suggested by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee that will likely have jurisdiction and a co-sponsor of the GPS Act.
by Andy Greenberg, Forbes.com May 17, 2012
In the wake of a historic Supreme Court ruling that police can’t use GPS devices planted on a car to track suspects without a warrant, Congress is reconsidering the question of what kinds of location tracking constitute an invasion of privacy. And one privacy and computer security professor wants to remind them that the gadget we all carry in our pockets can track us more precisely than any device merely attached to our car–even without the use of GPS. On Thursday the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss a proposed bill to limit location tracking of electronic devices without a warrant, what it’s calling the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, or the GPS Act. …
- Reminder To Congress: Cops’ Cellphone Tracking Can Be Even More Precise Than GPS (forbes.com)
- Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Congress Advances Bill To Protect Cell Phone Users’ Privacy (forbes.com)
- Passing the buck on location tracking (politico.com)
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)
Press Release of Senator Wyden, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Washington, D.C. – New technologies – like cell phones, smart phones, laptops and navigation devices – are making it increasingly easy to track and log the location of individual Americans, yet federal laws have not kept pace with the technology. The lack of legal clarity surrounding the use of electronically-obtained location data, also known as geolocation information, means that there are no clear rules for how this data can be used, accessed or sold by law enforcement, commercial entities or private citizens. As a result, prosecutors are often unsure when judges will allow geolocation information to be admitted as evidence. Telecommunications companies are often unsure when or if they are allowed to share their customer’s geolocation data with law enforcement. Customers are often unsure when or if their providers are sharing their geolocation data with law enforcement or selling it to other private companies. It is even unclear if law enforcement has the tools to arrest a stalker caught using technology to follow another person or obtain that person’s geolocation information.
With this in mind, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) teamed up to write the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act. The bipartisan legislation creates a legal framework designed to give government agencies, commercial entities and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used. U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, endorsed the effort as an original co-sponsor.
“GPS technology is unquestionably a great tool, not just for Americans on the go and cellular companies offering services, but for law enforcement professionals looking to track suspects and catch criminals,” Wyden said. “But all tools and tactics require rules and right now, when it comes to geolocation information, the rules aren’t clear. Congressman Chaffetz and I have worked to establish rules that we believe will foster the effective use of geolocation data while protecting the privacy rights of law-abiding American citizens.”