A Senate Judiciary Committee sanctioned Senator Al Frankenâ€™s bill that restricts location tracking via mobile devices.
The Location Privacy Protection Act would set outside the law any company selling applications that provide data on the deviceâ€™s location to anyone other than the device owner. The bill deems as unacceptable apps that silently monitor a userâ€™s location or share that location to a third party without the customerâ€™s consent.
“I believe that Americans have the fundamental right to control who can track their location, and whether or not that information can be given to third parties,â€ Franken told The Hill. “But right now, companies â€“ some legitimate, some sleazy â€“ are collecting your or your childâ€™s location and selling it to ad companies or who knows who else.”
The senator believes that restricting access to this kind of information may have a huge impact on peopleâ€™s safety, protecting them from stalkers or abusive spouses, apart from protecting them from harassment by â€œsleazyâ€ ad companies.
Parents monitoring theirâ€™ children phones are treated as an exception to this rule.
US Senator Chuck Grassley showed support towards the bill and its main directive â€“ to sanction stalking applications – but expressed serious concern that the act might end up hindering â€œcommercial innovations.â€