NEWS17 December 2012

Senate Judiciary Committee approves location-privacy bill

Legal North America

US — The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a location-privacy bill that aims to give people new privacy protections in their digital data.

The new bill would require app developers to obtain users’ opt-in consent before collecting or disclosing their geolocation data. It would prohibit companies from tracking individuals via mobile phones without explicit consent.

This would require apps or software to remind users that they are being tracked and enable them to stop this if requested. The move comes a month after the same committee approved revamping the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to require that law enforcement authorities obtain search warrants before accessing people’s emails or other data stored in the cloud.

“What’s most troubling is this: Our law is not protecting location information,” said Senator Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law.