© Greg Nash
Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' MORE is doubling down on his years-long push to get Congress to ban so-called stalking apps.
The Minnesota Democrat has reintroduced legislation that would block companies from being able to secretly collect location information, as well as banning the development, use and sale of GPS stalking apps.
“A majority of Americans have smartphones now,” Franken said. “[The legislation] will help a whole range of people affected by cyberstalking, including survivors of domestic violence, and it would finally outlaw unconscionable — but perfectly legal — smartphone apps that allow abusers to secretly track their victims."
Franken's proposal would also require that companies get permission from consumers before they collect location data off of a phone, tablet or in-car GPS or before they share it with a third party.
It would require any company that collects the location of more than 1,000 devices to disclose what data it collects, how it collects the data, who it is shared with and how a consumer can stop the company from collecting or sharing the data.
He added that the measures would help "give consumers more control over their very sensitive location data, allowing them to decide which companies can collect and share their location."
A handful of Democratic senators, including Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinFour questions that deserve answers at the Guantanamo oversight hearing Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal Conservatives target Biden pick for New York district court MORE (Ill.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (Mass.), are backing the legislation, which Franken first introduced in 2011.
The legislation would also require the federal government to gather additional information on GPS stalking, including prioritizing grants to train law enforcement.