By Christopher Beal, Public Policy Intern
With the seemingly ceaseless increase in the number of mobile internet devices finding their way into the hands (and pockets) of consumers, geolocation data (broadly, any information that can be used to identify the location of a person using a device) is becoming ever easier to collect and transmit without consumer awareness or consent. As such, a cohesive set of protections affording consumers with control and knowledge as to the collection and sharing of their sensitive private data is long overdue. The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014 (“LPPA”) promises to do just that. Accordingly, NCL is pleased to offer its support for this legislation.
The LPPA requires that companies alert consumers to the act of geolocation collection and sharing, and to require individual consent before either may occur (with reasonable exceptions for emergencies, parental supervision of children, and the like). It also requires that companies in the practice of collecting geolocation data must disclose the kinds of data collected, the ways in which it is shared and used, and companies must tell consumers how they can stop this collection or sharing. The LPPA also has provisions targeting the practice of GPS stalking and of the collection of geolocation data without a user’s knowledge.
NCL — along with many other privacy and consumer groups and the FTC — supports a comprehensive privacy protection law that encompasses all consumer data. Absent such a law, consumers deserve to at least have their most sensitive data, such as location information — protected. On Wednesday, June 4, NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg will be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law in support of the LPPA. To watch the hearing live, click here.