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The United States Congress is readying a new piece of legislation aimed at preventing unauthorized use of your cellphone data.
The Mobile Device Privacy Act (PDF), released today by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), is in direct response to the recent controversy caused by data tracking software Carrier IQ. That software is designed to help cellphone companies track the performance of their devices, but many critics believe it’s far too intrusive because it records users’ web browser history, text messages and location, and every keystroke.
Under the proposed legislation, companies would be required to disclose if they are using data-tracking software, as well as the type of data that’s being collected or tracked. The bill also requires cellphone companies obtain the consent of customers before they can implement such data tracking software.
While I’m OK with cellphone companies or device manufacturers collecting usage data about my cellphone habits, I definitely don’t want that information shared with third-party organizations. Since many others are likely to agree, the bill stipulates any company that wants to transfer data to third parties must file an application with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Via The Hill