Among the numerous federal privacy and data security bills that have been introduced in Congress over the last four months, Senator Franken’s “Location Privacy Protection Act” (S. 1223) focuses specifically on the collection of geolocation data by covered entities through mobile devices. The bill would prohibit entities that offer or provide services to certain mobile devices from collecting and disclosing a consumer’s geolocation information, unless the company has obtained the consumer’s express consent.
“Geolocation information” is defined to include any information that (1) concerns the location of an electronic communications device that is generated or derived from the consumer’s use of the device and (2) may be used to identify or approximate the location of the device. The term does not include, however, any temporarily assigned network address or IP address.
The legislation would be enforced by the U.S. Attorney General, state attorneys general, and private individuals (who would have the right to bring private lawsuits).
Sen. Franken has shown a strong interest in mobile privacy issues. As we blogged here in May, Sen. Franken has requested that Apple and Google require all applications available in the Apple App Store and the Android App Market to have “clear and understandable” privacy policies.