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Mobile Device Privacy Act

Posted 31 Jan 2012 | Comments Off on Mobile Device Privacy Act | 3,931 views

In light of the recent confusion and fingerpointing regarding the extend of CarrierIQ snooping, Representative Ed Markey has released a draft of the Mobile Device Privacy Act. The intent of the proposed legislation is require that cell phone consumers get notifications and express consent before any monitoring takes place. The draw law requires all cell phone manufacturers, service providers and resellers to disclose the types of information collected, the identity of anyone receiving the information, and how the information will be used.

In the case of CarrierIQ, the software maker denied that it collected any information, and then backtracked saying that it was the service providers that were the actual data recipients. This law would require consumers to receive clear disclosures and give explicit consent before any monitoring takes place. The proposed law would also require notifications and consent if monitoring software is installed after the phone is purchased.

The MDPA also requires that anyone that receives and stores monitoring data must establish and implement policies for protecting the security of the data. The proposed law give the FTC and the FCC power to enforce the law, as well as gives consumers a private right of action. A consumer may sue in state or district court for $1000 per violation plus court costs. Willful violations may result in triple damages. The monitoring agreements must be filed with the FTC and FCC.

In Rep. Markey’s press release, he stated “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.”

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