Tag Archives: geolocation

The Supreme Court Arguments in Carpenter Show that It May Be Time to Redefine the “Third-Party Doctrine”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Carpenter v.  U. S., a case that involved the collection of 127 days of Petitioner Thomas Carpenter’s cell site location information as part of an investigation into several armed robberies.  We attended the argument to gain any insights into how the Supreme Court may resolve this … Continue Reading

California AG Issues Guidance for Consumers on Managing Mobile Location Privacy

By Hannah Lepow Yesterday California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released guidance on how smartphone and tablet users can manage GPS and other location tracking functions on their mobile devices. The brief information sheet, designed for consumers, details how Android and iOS users can control different types of location information on their devices, including location … Continue Reading

Whisper’s Privacy Problem: Sen. Rockefeller Pushes for Probe While Editorial Team Is Suspended Pending Review

Following the Guardian’s recent exposé on Whisper’s consumer-privacy practices, alleging that the social-media app that supposedly allows people “to anonymously share [their] thoughts with the world . . . in a community built around trust and honesty,” in fact tracks the geolocation of users who opted out of such data collection, Chairman of the Senate … Continue Reading

Franken Bill Would Require Express Consent to Collection of Geolocation Information

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to re-introduce a bill intended to limit the use of geolocation data obtained from consumer smartphones and car navigation systems.  The Location Privacy Protection Act, which was first introduced in 2011, would require a user’s express authorization to collect, receive, record, obtain, or disclose to a non-governmental individual or entity … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Charges Against Flashlight App Maker

Yesterday, the FTC announced a settlement with Goldenshores Technologies, a company that makes the most-downloaded flashlight app on the Android platform.  The FTC alleged that Goldenshores violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to disclose to consumers that it shared location data it collected from users’ device with third parties.  Although a list … Continue Reading

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Legislation to Update ECPA

Last Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the ECPA 2.0 Act, H.R. 6529, which would strengthen the legal standards for law enforcement to gain access to electronic communications and location information.  The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is more than 25 years old and is widely seen as needing modernization to address changes in digital … Continue Reading

California Legislature Bans Warrantless Location Tracking

Last week, the California legislature passed one of the nation’s most restrictive bills governing law enforcement’s ability to access location information.  Under the California Location Privacy Act, state and local government agencies would be required to secure search warrants before obtaining historical or current location information for any electronic device.  The California bill would curtail … Continue Reading

Key Holdings in the In re iPhone Application Dismissal Order

By: Shel Abramson and Mali Friedman The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed with prejudice most claims asserted by consumer plaintiffs in In re iPhone Application Litigation, including causes of action under the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), the Wiretap Act, and other federal and state laws.  Plaintiffs asserted that Apple … Continue Reading

Federal Court Finds Warrant Required to Obtain Cell-Phone Locations

Government officials must seek a warrant to compel the disclosure of cell phone location data, a federal district court ruled, holding that a federal law allowing the government to obtain some information without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment. In a one-page order upholding a magistrate judge’s decision, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, of … Continue Reading

Courts Address Locational Privacy Issues

As we previously noted here and here, locational privacy continues to be an area of ongoing interest.  Yesterday, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that a husband’s privacy rights were not invaded when his wife put a GPS tracking device in his car.  In Villanova v. Innovative Investigations, Inc., A-0654-10T2 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div. … Continue Reading

Senator Franken Focuses on Privacy of Geolocation Data

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 … Continue Reading

Flurry of Privacy Bills Introduced in Congress; More to Come?

In light of the number of privacy and data security-related bills currently being considered by Congress, we thought it might be helpful to provide a roundup of the legislation introduced or circulated to date: Comprehensive privacy legislation: BEST PRACTICES Act, H.R. 611 (Rep. Rush): introduced Feb. 10, 2011.  Referred to the House Subcommittee on Commerce, … Continue Reading

Markey and Barton Introduce “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011”

Representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton recently introduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011,” which would expand and modernize the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and also would introduce new privacy protections for all minors under 18.   COPPA currently prohibits operators of websites and online services from knowingly collecting, using, or disclosing … Continue Reading

Government Scrutiny of Locational Privacy Increases

Although concerns about locational privacy are hardly new, recent developments suggest that policymakers and government officials are taking a close look at the privacy issues raised when geolocation data is collected via smartphones. The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal grand jury in New Jersey is probing the data collection practices of smartphone applications.  According … Continue Reading
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