Sen. Franken's anti-stalking bill could restrict location-based mobile advertising

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has proposed a bill that would ban clandestine location-tracking apps, but mobile advertisers could suffer as a result, according to a Mobile Commerce Press article.

The bill, also known as the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014 (.pdf), forbids the use of GPS-tracking technology without a person's consent. Certain instances--such as parental and guardian monitoring on children, and emergency response--are exempt from this proposal. Franken hopes to eradicate instances of domestic stalking with this legislation, as he explains in this video.

"My bill would make these stalking apps illegal and would give consumers control over their very sensitive location information," says Franken.

In the Mobile Commerce Press article, Franken is quoted as saying, "'my bill doesn't protect just victims of stalking. It protects everyone who uses a smartphone, an in-car navigation device, or any mobile device connected to the Internet.'"

Mobile advertisers are not as happy as the senator with this legislation because it could hinder innovation, according to Mobile Commerce Press. Mobile advertisers are using location-tracking technology in order to reach their target audience and maximize the effectiveness of their ads. They use GPS technology to offer promotions and ads relevant to the location of the consumer.

Franken is no stranger to anti-stalking legislation. According to BusinessInsider, he proposed a related bill in 2012.

For more:
- read the Mobile Commerce Press article
- check out bill S. 2171 (.pdf)
- read the BusinessInsider article
- watch the YouTube video

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