Acting Up Franken and Markey Move on Consumer Protection

Congressmen question mobile tracking

The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 was introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) last June, a month after Franken held a mobile privacy hearing where executives from Google and Apple testified about their current practices for collecting, storing and using consumer location data. The bill requires companies to get a customer’s express consent before collecting location data and before sharing the information with third parties.

Following the flap last fall over Carrier IQ’s analytic monitoring software for carriers that track consumer activity on cellphones, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released a discussion draft bill, The Mobile Device Privacy Act. It requires that consumers be notified whenever mobile tracking software is installed on a phone, what data is being collected, how the data will be used and who will get it. Companies must obtain express consent from consumers to track and share the information. Third parties that receive the data must file agreements with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

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