core location mapAfter hearing from Apple, Google, and others last month, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) today introduced The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011, a new bill that would require companies to take better care of user location information on mobile devices:

The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 is a narrowly-tailored bill that would close current loopholes in federal law to require any company that may obtain a customer’s location information from his or her smartphone or other mobile device to (1) get that customer's express consent before collecting his or her location data; and (2) get that customer's express consent before sharing his or her location data with third parties. If any company obtains the location information for more than 5,000 mobile devices, that company will also have to (3) take reasonable steps to protect that information from reasonably foreseeable threats; (4) tell an inquiring customer whether or not they have his or her information, and (5) delete that information if that customer so requests it.

The Senator "concluded that our laws do too little to protect information on our mobile devices" and noted that "this legislation would give people the right to know what geolocation data is being collected about them and ensure they give their consent before it’s shared with others."

Just a few weeks ago, Senator Franken sent a letter to Apple and Google, requesting that both companies require app developers to have "clear and understandable privacy policies".

It would appear that Apple is already in compliance with sections 1 through 3, and presumably sections 4 and 5 are fairly easy to implement. iOS apps are already required to ask users for permission to use their location data and iOS devices display an icon in the top bar to indicate when location data is being used.

Repeated attempts by MacRumors to obtain the full text of the bill through Senator Franken's office were unsuccessful, though a one-page summary [PDF] is available.

This isn't the first time Congress has attempted to regular location information on mobile devices. A similar bill was introduced in 2001 by then-Senator John Edwards (D-NC). In fact, the bill had an identical title, The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2001.

That bill would have ordered the FCC to require providers of location-based services to:

(1) inform customers about their policies on the collection, use, disclosure of, and access to customer location information; and (2) receive a customer's express authorization before collecting, using, retaining, or disclosing such information.

The Edwards bill died in committee.

Top Rated Comments

chrmjenkins Avatar
127 months ago
Ah yes, the government will happily protect our location data from those mean corporations while in the same breath renewing the Patriot Act which allows them to skirt the entire Constitution when it comes to privacy.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GSPice Avatar
127 months ago
Ah yes, the government will happily protect our location data from those mean corporations while in the same breath renewing the Patriot Act which allows them to skirt the entire Constitution when it comes to privacy.





I'm not travelling to the US because they can basically copy everything off your phone, laptop etc without stating any real reasons. Most companies advise their employees not to carry any such devices when travelling to the US. Needed data etc is simply downloaded or transferred over the web

And in other news, foil stock jumps 7.6%
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Illusion986 Avatar
127 months ago
Just another "Agree" button I'll have to push without reading what I'm agreeing to...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
127 months ago
Question:

How is a company able to comply with 4 & 5 if all the location data they collect is completely anonymous?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iTim314 Avatar
127 months ago
Ah yes, the government will happily protect our location data from those mean corporations while in the same breath renewing the Patriot Act which allows them to skirt the entire Constitution when it comes to privacy.

Best. Comment. Ever.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
127 months ago
Step 4 would be very easy. “No” :) And that solves Step 5 too!

Ugh If you're a Franken Constituent please don't vote him again. I'd rather Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon, AT&T, and Nestle-Tollhouse know my habits, where I go/where i shop/where I sleep/and what I do over my government.
I can’t help but think there isn’t really as much separation as you think, between our government and the deep-pocketed corporations that pull its strings.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max front feature2

Kuo: Some 2022 iPhones to Abandon Notch in Favor of 'Punch-Hole' Display

Monday March 1, 2021 8:05 am PST by
At least some 2022 iPhone models will abandon the notch and switch to a "punch-hole display design" instead, similar to Samsung's recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo said the hole-punch display design will be adopted by high-end 2022 iPhones at a minimum, and if production yields are good enough, all 2022 iPhone...