Senate Bill Would Curb Collection Of Wireless Location Data



Senate Bill Would Curb Collection Of Wireless Location Data

By Brian Krebs, Newsbytes

11 Jul 2001, 1:03 PM CST

Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C. today introduced legislation that would force wireless providers to obtain consent from customers before harvesting their location information.

The “Location Privacy Protection Act,” would require wireless service providers to notify their customers when collecting location information that can be gleaned by homing in on the signal transmitted by wireless devices.

The bill would cover all wireless products that can be used to determine a customer’s specific location, including cell phones, pagers, handheld computers and global positioning systems.

“If you have a cell phone in your pocket or Onstar in your car, somebody knows where you are at all times,” Edwards said. “This bill is designed to make sure that no one misuses your personal information. We need to get ahead of the curve on what will soon be a real problem.”

Edwards said his bill would not interfere with public safety and rescue services that rely on location information to find callers in distress.

Earlier this year, Edwards introduced a similar bill, the “Spyware Control and Privacy Protection Act,” legislation designed to limit the use of software programs that secretly track users’ Web surfing habits.

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13:03 CST