On Thursday, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) made headlines by formally introducing the long-awaited Mobile Device Privacy Act. And it’s left people talking.
Rep. Markey, who is co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, says “The Mobile Device Privacy Act” would require companies to disclose to consumers the capability to monitor telephone usage, as well as require express consent of the consumer prior to monitoring. Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). Rep. Markey, co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, today released H.R. 6377, “The Mobile Device Privacy Act”, legislation.
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
“Just because a mobile device is hand held doesn’t mean it should hand over personal information to third parties without permission,” said Rep. Markey, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. “Consumers should know and have the choice to say no to software on their mobile devices that is transmitting their personal and sensitive information. This is especially true for parents of children and teens, the fastest growing group of smartphone users. This legislation will provide greater transparency into the transmission of consumers’ personal information and empower consumers to say no to such transmission. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this important consumer protection legislation.”
The “Mobile Device Privacy Act” protects consumers by requiring:
- Disclosure of mobile telephone monitoring when a consumer buys a mobile phone; after sale, if the carrier, manufacturer, or operating system later installs monitoring software; and if a consumer downloads an app and that app contains monitoring software
- The disclosure includes the fact that the monitoring software has been installed on the phone, the types of information that are collected, the identity of the parties to which the information is transmitted, and how such information will be used
- Consumer consent before monitoring software begins collecting and transmitting information
- The party receiving the personal information must have policies in place to secure the information
- Agreements on information transmission must be filed at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- An enforcement regime for the FTC and FCC, along with State AG enforcement and a private right of action
Is this bill a common sense solution to privacy concerns that all consumers worry about? What do you think?