UPDATE on June 17: See below for the final version of the legislation.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have introduced theÂ Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011
[this pdf is a draft as of June 13; it is believed to be the final draft] [UPDATE: here is the final version of the bill that was introduced: Franken pdf; archive pdf]. Franken has been interested in location privacy andÂ has questioned Apple and Google about the recentÂ controversy concerningÂ researchersâ€™ revelations about the tracking and storage of usersâ€™ location data on Apple iPhones and 3G-enabled iPad tablets, as well controversy over devices using Googleâ€™s Android devices. Last monthÂ held a hearing on mobile privacy issues: â€œProtecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy.â€
Today, U.S. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation that would require companies like Apple and Google, as well as app developers to receive express consent from users of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets before sharing information about those usersâ€™ location with third parties. The bill, called the Location Privacy Protection Act, would close current loopholes in federal law to ensure that consumers know what location information is being collected about them and allow them to decide if they want to share it. […]
â€œGeolocation technology gives us incredible benefits, but the same information that allows emergency responders to locate us when we’re in trouble is not necessarily information all of us want to share with the rest of the world. This legislation would give people the right to know what geolocation data is being collected about them and ensure they give their consent before itâ€™s shared with others,â€ [Franken said.]
â€œThis legislation is a strong step toward ensuring that consumers’ geolocation information is protected from being collected and stored without their consent,â€ said Sen. Blumenthal. â€œAs smartphone technology continues to advance, it is vitally important that we keep pace with new developments to make sure consumer data is secure from being shared or sold without proper notification to consumers.â€