Industry News

`Stalking’ Applications Could Be Marked As Illegal in US

A Senate Judiciary Committee sanctioned Senator Al Franken’s bill that restricts location tracking via mobile devices.

The Location Privacy Protection Act would set outside the law any company selling applications that provide data on the device’s location to anyone other than the device owner. The bill deems as unacceptable apps that silently monitor a user’s location or share that location to a third party without the customer’s consent.

“I believe that Americans have the fundamental right to control who can track their location, and whether or not that information can be given to third parties,” Franken told The Hill. “But right now, companies – some legitimate, some sleazy – are collecting your or your child’s location and selling it to ad companies or who knows who else.”

The senator believes that restricting access to this kind of information may have a huge impact on people’s safety, protecting them from stalkers or abusive spouses, apart from protecting them from harassment by “sleazy” ad companies.

Parents monitoring their’ children phones are treated as an exception to this rule.

US Senator Chuck Grassley showed support towards the bill and its main directive – to sanction stalking applications – but expressed serious concern that the act might end up hindering “commercial innovations.”

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.