Senate Cyberstalking Bill To Close Privacy Loophole

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to approve legislation sponsored by sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. that would block a loophole for “cyberstalking apps”. The purpose of the bill is to outlaw applications that transmit location without the device owners consent. Companies would need to make sure that permission is obtained before location sharing is allowed. The underlying theme here really is about intent, if the purpose of the application is for stalking and the app is installed on a phone not owned by the person installing the software it will be illegal. Stalking is already illegal and many of the top applications for conducting cyberstalking are sold outside the U.S. so enforcement might be a challenge. Marketing and advertising apps who use location services will also need to ensure their users explicitly grant permission to access location.