U.S. Senators Al Franken (D-Minn) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) have introduced legislation that would require companies like Apple and Google, as well as application developers for platforms like iOS, to get permission from users before sharing geo-locational data with third parties, reports “Gigaom” (http://macte.ch/h2CTM).
The bill is based on hearings held in May by the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The bill, called the “Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011,” aims to close what the senators view as a loophole that allows “smartphone companies, app companies and even phone companies offering wireless Internet service to freely share their customers’ location information with third parties without first obtaining customers’ consent.”
Cable and phone companies are already barred from doing so, and Franken and Blumenthal think that restriction should apply to mobile users as well, says “Gigaom.” The proposed law would cover both device manufacturers and application developers, and would apply to both smartphones and tablets.