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Mobile Device Privacy Act is what will put smartphone privacy concerns to rest

Posted: , by Nick T.

Mobile Device Privacy Act is what will put smartphone privacy concerns to rest
The Carrier IQ software might have not been as dangerous as initially thought, but its presence on millions of phones worldwide sure brought up some privacy concerns. And even though carriers are already addressing the issue by removing the controversial software from their devices, the U.S. government wants to make sure that such scandals won't arise in the future.

Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives was a bill titled the Mobile Device Privacy Act. If it passes, the law will require carriers and phone manufacturers to inform customers about any tracking software that may be installed on a device that they offer. Disclosing the specific types of information that it collects would be mandatory as well. Collecting and transmitting data would require the user's consent, and should the companies want to provide that information to third parties, they will first need to gain approval from both the FTC and the FCC. Additionally, those third parties will be required to take measures towards securing that information from ending up in the wrong hands.

“Consumers have the right to know and to say no to the presence of software on their mobile devices that can collect and transmit their personal and sensitive information,” said Rep. Edward Markey, who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Of course, the Mobile Device Privacy Act still has a long way to go before it becomes a law. It might even require some changes to its wording because in its current form, only “mobile telephones” are being affected by it while tablets are not even mentioned. And if such loopholes do not get patched, it would not be surprising to see a Carrier IQ-like scandal escalating once again in the future. 

Draft of Mobile Device Privacy Act can be found here [PDF]

2 Comments
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posted on 01 Feb 2012, 15:54

1. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


First. Only on Android phones since Google allows you to do anything to them.

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 01:39

2. Forsaken77 (Posts: 545; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


I'm so glad something is being done to protect consumers' privacy rights. Instead of the carriers having to inform customers of tracking software and getting permission, they should just make tracking software illegal all together. What happens if all 4 carriers have the software on all of their phones? Then you have the choice of taking a phone with tracking and info collecting, or no phone at all. That's what these greedy companies will do. Make it illegal to collect any data from a consumer at all.

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