Skip to main content

Proposed US Law Would Require Explicit Consent To Track Users' Locations

In a move aimed at protecting mobile users from the misuse of geolocation technology, two US Senators have proposed legislation that would make it mandatory for mobile companies to seek permission from their users before disclosing their location.

The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 proposed by Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats, would make it compulsory for companies who collect location information on more than five thousand subscribers to inform their users that they are involved in collecting their location info and undertake suitable measures to protect such information from falling into wrong hands.

Explaining the rationale behind the proposed legislation, Al Franken mentioned in a (opens in new tab) statement “Geolocation technology gives us incredible benefits, but the same information that allows emergency responders to locate us when we're in trouble is not necessarily information all of us want to share with the rest of the world," PC World (opens in new tab) reports.

The active interest shown by the senators comes close on heels of reports that technology companies including Apple and Google were collecting location information from their users without their explicit consent.

The legislation has already received support from advocacy groups including the Center for Democracy and Technology and the National Center for Victims of Crime.