Last night, NBC's Katie Kim did an extraordinary segment on Illinois House Bill 3449 - the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act. The piece featured our very own Board of Director Peter Hanna and our Industry Outreach Director Matthew Erickson explaining why such basic transparency is needed to protect ourselves and our families. “Geolocation data is in some ways the holy grail of personal data,” said Peter Hanna, co-founder of the Digital Privacy Alliance and a data privacy attorney. “Where we are, where we go – it’s among the most intimately private information about our day-to-day lives.” In fact, just this past July the FBI issued a warning to parents telling them that Internet connected devices pose dangers to our children's privacy and physical safety.
The corporate giants who oppose the bill conveniently say that it does not provide additional protections - yet, they could not be more wrong. Current law does not require mobile applications to get consent before tracking and selling your location information. In fact, companies regularly collect such information without your knowledge, as evidenced by a report showing that the popular app AccuWeather could collect location information even when location sharing was off.
Fortunately, the Illinois Legislature understood that this bill remedies a public safety issue of the highest order and passed it with bipartisan support. As concerned parent Andre Delattre puts it, "It’s just a basic right to know issue. If someone is going to collect and store information about me or my daughter or both of us, then the very least I ought to be afforded is to know that that’s the case.”