Dem senator doubles down on blocking ‘stalking apps’

Sen. Al Franken 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. 
{mosads}“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 Durbin (Ill.) and Elizabeth Warren (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.
Tags Al Franken Dick Durbin Elizabeth Warren

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