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ICT

Date:16/06/11

US lawmakers propose to regulate use of geolocation data

Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz proposed a bipartisan measure that seeks to regulate how law enforcement agencies and private organisations access, collect, and use geolocation data gathered from mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets.
The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance ( GPS) Act is the first bipartisan effort to create a legal framework designed to give government agencies, commercial entities and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used.
“GPS technology is unquestionably a great tool, not just for Americans on the go and cellular companies offering services, but for law enforcement professionals looking to track suspects and catch criminals,” Senator Wyden said.
“But all tools and tactics require rules and right now, when it comes to geolocation information, the rules aren’t clear. Congressman Chaffetz and I have worked to establish rules that we believe will foster the effective use of geolocation data while protecting the privacy rights of law-abiding American citizens.”
“I think it’s great that GPS and tracking technology exists,” said Chaffetz. “What isn’t great is the idea that this technology can be used to track somebody without their knowledge. It is the job of Congress to protect and defend the United States Constitution and the personal liberties provided to American citizens under the Fourth Amendment. Quite frankly, the government and law enforcement should not be able to track somebody indefinitely without their knowledge or consent, or without obtaining a warrant from a judge.” According to an official statement, the GPS Act will provide clarity for government agencies, commercial service providers, and the public regarding the legal procedures and protections that apply to electronic devices that can be used to track the movements of individual Americans.
In addition, the GPS Act would apply to both real-time tracking as well as to tracking using historical data. It covers all data gathered by law enforcement from mobile devices as well as via the use of GPS tracking devices on vehicles.



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