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Timothy B. Lee

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Posted at 02:09 PM ET, 06/15/2011

Franken, Blumenthal introduce mobile privacy bill

Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Wednesday introduced a smart phone privacy bill that would require companies like Apple and Google to get permission from users before sharing geo-locational data with third parties.

The bill comes amid increased concern that mobile phone and apps makers are collecting information about a consumer’s whereabouts based on GPS and other technology and sharing that data with outside parties.

The bill, called the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011, aims to better protect users’ privacy and inform them how their data is being used.

“Geolocation 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,” Franken said.

Domestic violence experts, for example, warn that location-based data could be used to endanger victims of abuse.

The bill has the support of privacy groups including Center for Democracy and Technology and Consumers Union.

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By  |  02:09 PM ET, 06/15/2011

 
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