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.
Posted by Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Research Center, May 11, 2012
A new report finds that 74% of smartphone owners use their phone to get real-time location-based information, and 18% use a geosocial service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends. Over the past year, smartphone ownership among American adults has risen from 35% of adults in 2011 to 46% in 2012. This means that the overall proportion of U.S. adults who get location-based information has almost doubled over that time period, from 23% in May 2011 to 41% in February 2012. The percentage of adults who use geosocial services like Foursquare has likewise risen from 4% in 2011 to 10% in 2012.
For copy of the report, visit Three-quarters of smartphone owners use location-based services | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
- Study: Location-Based Services Popular Among Smartphone Owners (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- More Smartphone Owners Use Location-Based Products [STUDY] (mashable.com)
- Location-Based Services Grow in Popularity (pcmag.com)
by Kevin D. Pomfret, LeClairRyan, Executive Counsel Magazine, April/May 2011
Geolocation technology enables devices like smart phones to collect data “about where people go and what they do,” the author explains. “This information can be aggregated with other information to determine ‘who they are’ with precision and accuracy.” Geolocation technology raises concerns in part because significant benefits of the technology often are overshadowed by sensationalized media accounts of real or perceived privacy breeches, according to the author.
For full text of the summary, visit Executive Counsel » Lawmakers Eye Geolocation Apps. For full text of the article, you will need to subscribe to Executive Counsel or purchase this month’s magazine.
- The Future of Social Networks and Geolocation (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Creepy Shows Just How Much Geolocation Data You Broadcast Online (makeuseof.com)
- Jim Steyer: Why We Need “Do Not Track Kids” (huffingtonpost.com)
- New Bill Would Update Digital Privacy Law (blogs.wsj.com)
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)
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Are Location-Based Services Ready to Turn the Corner?
By RYAN KIM of GigaOm, NYT, January 26, 2011
Despite reports that location-based services are far from mainstream, new research by Microsoft suggests the technology is gaining adoption and may be poised to follow in the footsteps of the ATM, which took some time to dispel safety concerns on its way to being universally used. In an online survey of 1,500 people around the world last month, 51 percent report having used a location-based service including 50 percent in the U.S. That’s considerably higher than what the Pew Research Center found when it reported in November that only 7 percent of online U.S. adults use location-based services regularly. …
For full text of the article, click on Are Location-Based Services Ready to Turn the Corner? – NYTimes.com.
- Are Location-Based Services Ready to Turn the Corner? (nytimes.com)
- Location Services Have Not Caught On, Report Says – NYTimes.com (jeffpruett.wordpress.com)
- Most Users Don’t Want To Share Their Location (GOOG, MSFT) (businessinsider.com)
- Foursquare Is Growing Quickly – But Still Not Mainstream (gigaom.com)
- Location and Privacy: Where are we headed on Data Privacy Day? (blogs.technet.com)
By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY and the Last Watchdog blog, 26 Jan 2011
Odds are you will be monitored today — many times over. Surveillance cameras at airports, subways, banks and other public venues are not the only devices tracking you. Inexpensive, ever-watchful digital sensors are now ubiquitous. They are in laptop webcams, video-game motion sensors, smartphone cameras, utility meters, passports and employee ID cards. Step out your front door and you could be captured in a high-resolution photograph taken from the air or street by Google or Microsoft, as they update their respective mapping services. Drive down a city thoroughfare, cross a toll bridge, or park at certain shopping malls and your license plate will be recorded and time-stamped. …
For full text of the article, click here.