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Senate bill requires consent for Android, iPhone geolocation

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed June 15, 2011

Senators propose location consent bill

Democrat Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday put forward a bill that would require explicit consent for geolocation data. Apple, Google, and others with more than 5,000 devices on the market would have to both ask permission as well as take steps to shield the data and delete it once it's no longer needed. Franken argued legislation was necessary since there was a distinct difference between location info for a 911 call and the kind that could be used to stalk someone or leak data to third-party marketers.

The Department of Justice would most likely be the one to enforce the laws rather than regular courts.

Franken has been a key architect of mobile privacy initiatives and conducted Senate hearings in addition to making personal requests with Apple and Google to have them enshrine consent in their policies.

Apple has said that it never takes location data directly from the phone, requires consent for individual apps, and has only used a small cache of anonymized data for a crowd-sourced database that many suspect could be used for traffic data. Google has said it requires consent for every location activity and lets users shut them off. However, it has been chastised for its practices that both include very frequent position checks and data that reaches Google's servers, even if personal data has been stripped out.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Parky

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    -6

    comment title

    Insane paranoia!

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    -5

    Who Cares

    Give me a break ... who cares. Possibly if you work for a Gov Dept or Military and they have requirements , but why burden the rest of the world with these stupid red tape requirements that are way overboard for the average person WHO DOES NOT CARE

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    Why not?

    I fail to see that this will cause any additional burden to users of either platform, and will cause no additional burden to Apple because they are already compliant with the suggested law (may need to add one additional dialog box when first setting up the iPhone -- OMG what an onerous gov't burden!!).

    Of course, the law is entirely contrary to Google's data-mining business model, but too bad IMO.

    I'm far more comfortable with the government attempting to protect consumers from possible security/privacy risks and predatory corporations than, oh let's say, invade non-threatening countries and bankrupt the nation. But that's just me.

  1. davesmall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006

    -5

    Al Franken is such a major moron

    Al Franken should just go away, resign from the Senate and the human race. What a total loser.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +5

    Sen. Franken.

    Thank you for being the voice of reason.

    Maybe i don't want my phone logging location data, even if it never leaves the phone.

    - A

  1. ferdchet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011

    0

    Love the statists

    I guess chas and fast need someone to do everything for them. They must be the type who has never grown up and still needs a mommy to wipe their nose. Is this really the government's place?

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