Senator Al Franken’s Privacy Bill Is Approved By Senate Committee

    December 14, 2012
    Zach Walton
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We brought you word earlier this month that Sen. Al Franken was trying his hand at passing a privacy bill again. The Location Privacy Protection Act would require any and all app makers to request permission to track users before being able to do so. His first attempt at passage in 2011 failed, but it’s looking a bit more optimistic this time around.

The Hill reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of Franken’s bill on Thursday. Now the bill can be brought up in the senate for a vote later this month before the current Congress ends at the beginning of January. Franken argues that the bill is not only important to protect an individual’s privacy, but also to protect the privacy of children who are increasingly using connected mobile devices:

“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. 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.”

Franken’s bill appears to have made it through committee without much change from its original text. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced an amendment that would have required state attorneys general to be transparent about hiring outside counsels, but it was defeated by committee democrats. Still, Grassley approved the bill, but remains concerned that its limits on tracking could hurt “commercial innovations.”

Other members on the committee expressed some concern with language in the bill, but have said that they’re willing to work with Franken to improve the bill before it goes up for vote in the Senate. Franken will also have to work with his colleagues in the House if he wants to ensure passage this year, but the current negotiations over the “Fiscal Cliff” will most likely push Franken’s bill to next year.

Regardless, it’s an encouraging sign to at least see a committee forward a digital privacy bill. There’s not enough legislation that addresses the current privacy concerns that have crept up with the advent of the Internet and mobile devices. Franken’s bill doesn’t address all of the concerns, but it’s a good start.

  • Pam

    Can this be any more preposterous? If you want a child protection BILL . DO THAT BUT I should be able to hire a PI To track people commiting crimes without the criminals permission..

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      There are exceptions in the bill for stalking and criminal cases. In fact, a portion of the bill would make stalking via electronics means (GPS, mobile devices, etc) illegal. The main purpose of the bill, however, is stop companies from tracking people via their mobile devices. It doesn’t give more freedom for those who abuse these technologies to perform criminal acts.

  • timw

    Once again Al Frankenstien and the demoncrats are stomping on our freedoms. They won’t be happy until we are all good little socialists living in our tenements and riding bicycles and vegans and denying God!

    • tl

      How ignorant are you? Tracking your every movement without your knowledge is good? For me making corporations admit to tracking or giving you an option to keep your every day movements and personal information under ‘your’ control is exactly the way it should be, it’s called freedom which obviously you have no clue about. Good for Al Franken.

      • Rex McIntyre


    • jim

      who cares?

    • jim

      what are you? stupid, repub or both?? this is to protect all of us from these people and their nosey ways.

    • bob

      Are you kidding. Take your meds.

    • Ian Elliott

      Did you even bother to read the article? Al Franken is concerned to protect individual rights to privacy. You claim he is trampling on individual rights. Which individual rights? I challenge you to address the article as it is written, instead of throwing a bunch of Hanaday labels at it like ‘socialist’.

    • George

      Paranoia self-destroy’ya

  • timw

    Al Frankenstien is catering to his rich friends who don’t want to get caught by a private investgator that their wives hired to catch them cheating!

  • Mike James

    Who cares? How bout the principal of the Conn. School where 20 – 5 year olds and 8 others were slaughtered because someone ignored death threats. Same thing seems to be happening all around the country and no one bothers to track these deviants. You must be one not to care.

  • Bob P

    I’ve always despised Franken and his Lib-celebrity-Dem persona, but I applaud him for this bill. How anyone, Repub or Dem, could actually want tracking of their every movement is beyond belief.

    When the blood runs in the street with the impending financial collapse and the destruction of the dollar, Big Brother will be able to track citizen movements if this bill isn’t passed. Go Google the US Army Manual published in Feb 2010 with the title “Relocation and Re-internment of US Citizens”. It was leaked and you can download it in PDF format. Very chilling, with over 80 concentration camps being set up to put citizens in who violate the Patriot Act.

  • Kevin

    that turd is still around, thought some body would have flushed him by now, Minnesota is the new California, and all the crap that goes with being so!!

  • Swami Joy

    Thank you Al Franken!! May GOD Bless you and your service to the American People.

    • Lewsjuice

      You are an absolute idiot if you think Al Frankenstein is worthy of any kind of praise. Put your head back in the sand you idiot.

      • George

        Why do you want Swami to put his head in the sand?…are you lonely?

  • http://yahoo.com kurt

    Hey Al, I didn’t know you had it in you. Nicely done. Now do something about all the other Big Brother B.S. coming out of D.C.!

    • jeff cole

      Ya AL
      Government employment has gone up 20% since you got sent to D.C. to fix things. Have a little talk with Obama (Jimmy Hoffa’s Boy) about cut federal spending, The reason unemployment rates look low is nobody is eligible to collect.
      The spending of Obama and the 51% of the fools in the USSA United Socialist States of America.
      We can say Al was there to spend and hire employees and make matters worse.
      National Debt, the days of setting your kids up better then your parents helped you to get establish. Obama and the Democrats have done an insane job of running up the debt. THANKS AL you are with a bunch of losers. But I do agree with your bill.

      • fred

        Cole I can track your sorry a@@ and print your adress and phone number (Dare me) using Zaba search!

        • George

          Jeff’s tinfoil hat is on WAY too tight.
          It’s cutting off the blood supply to his (_|_), and subsequently, his brain (both cells).

  • Randall

    Antone really stupid enough to believe if the government or one of the corporations who own the government wants to track you via your smartphone or your car gps that this bill will stop them???
    Yeah, right. Like privacy laws have protected cellphone communications which are routinely monitored as they pass through the cell towers.
    It’s over folks. The electronic/satellite way we live today gives anyone who can write the correct code access to everything you do in cyberspace and your movements in realtime. If u think our government obeys any laws about this, you’re naive in the extreme. Our government stood by while multi-millionaires stole millions of dollars in pensions and retirment funds etc., and never even attempted to bring thbe thieves to justice…just gave them more millions in taxpayer money. It’s over. The top 1% OWN this country, this government, and us.

    • jeff cole

      Union thugs that’s how Adolph Hitler formed his SS troops as it progressed. Adolph Obama or Adolph Hoffa Carl Marx

      You forgot the Unions, Barack Obama Bin Lyin buddies, Team Thug!
      When the Unions have gotten Grandmothers ready to kick union thug ass they have trouble, everyone sticks up for their Granny!
      From 8 to 80 thugs will be getting thumped, be civil there’s room for two sides to a street so get over wanting to pay money to special interest groups you do not want them to. The money would look better in your pocket than some Union Organizers
      Jimmy Hoffa should be careful who he goes to lunch with and car rides if history repeats itself. He’s got a big yap, some people don’t like big hard ass yappy threats. So he is follish enough to keep talking and they’ll end up be the 1st father and son missing persons that I know of. Ripley’s will be on it!

      • George

        Your tinfoil hat is on WAY too tight.

      • Rex McIntyre

        your a racist. Ok let everyone do anything. To hell with congress to hell the president and give everyone a gun and lets all kill each other off. GOD you are a nut job who needs locked away in a mental ward. Ok buddy have it your way let’s get a billion white guy in office. So you can do anything at anytime. But wait so can anyone else. Martial law. Let’s all go back to living in jungles and being warriors or better yet lets all go back to the days of Rome when we just fought to the death. Man someone is trying to help you be safe and you call him a NAZI? First your kind (and yes i’m a white guy also) bash him for being black. Now he is a Aryan NAZI? Damn! So you must have been wasted on meth or booze during the whole 8 years of Bush. Damn you must have missed Clinton and Reagan and Nixon and Ford. DAMN! Last white guy who wasn’t scamming YOUR money for his 1% buddies was FDR! Get a grip you tea party racist nut jobs. Now i’ve heard it all you call Obama a NAZI? So what now are you gonna say guns didn’t kill the kids in Sandy Hook? Sure was confirmed it was bullets from a gun! Idiot. You people kill me. You praise the guys who would rather take a dump on you then help you BUT say whatever you wanna hear so you will let down your guard and then then screw you everyday. The first person who actually does what is required of him, does what the Americans have bitched about not being done since Nixon and you dump on him cause he tells the truth? You must have been the same person who as a kid tried to do everything in your power to dump on your parents when they were right and told you the truth when you didn’t like what they said. So let the app makers track ya> Damn your an idiot!

  • Ima Leprechaun

    I agree completely with AL. Get this bill passed!

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