Daily Dashboard

Senators, Reps Introduce Geolocation Bills

GEO PRIVACY—U.S.

June 16, 2011

Describing Wednesday as "location privacy day on Capitol Hill," The Wall Street Journal reports on two federal geolocation privacy bills aimed at limiting government and industry use of such data. Following an announcement earlier this year about plans to introduce a geo privacy bill, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R- UT) proposed legislation to require law enforcement agencies to obtain probable cause warrants to track location through mobile devices, with exceptions for emergency responders, parents of minor children and Patriot Act investigations. "GPS technology is unquestionably a great tool," Wyden said, but added, "all tools and tactics require rules, and right now, when it comes to geolocation information, the rules aren't clear." Meanwhile, Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have introduced a bill requiring companies to obtain expressed user consent before sharing information and delete data upon request. "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," Franken said. Amid the announcement of the new bills, however, one technology editor predicts that while many view tracking as "creepy...Privacy is the Web's currency, and most folks will happily trade their locations for a 10-percent coupon." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
Full Story