First U.S. Ban on Sale of Cellphone Location Data In Works In Massachusetts
"Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing a near total ban on buying and selling of location data drawn from consumers’ mobile devices in the state, in what would be a first-in-the-nation effort to rein in a billion-dollar industry."
"The legislature held a hearing last month on a bill called the Location Shield Act, a sweeping proposal that would sharply curtail the practice of collecting and selling location data drawn from mobile phones in Massachusetts."
"The proposal would also institute a warrant requirement for law-enforcement access to location data, banning data brokers from providing location information about state residents without court authorization in most circumstances."
"No state has gone so far as to completely ban the sale of location data on residents. The most common approach in other states is to require digital services and data brokers to obtain clear consent from consumers to collect data and put some restrictions on transfer and sale."
"The proposal would still allow digital services to collect consumer location information to deliver services to users in the states, such as weather information or a ride-share service, but it would put in place a near total ban on sale or transfer of that data to other entities."
"Public and private access to location data has emerged as a hot-button topic in recent years - especially as government entities such as law enforcement, the military and intelligence agencies have increasingly branched into collecting and exploiting huge data sets that are being made available for sale."