ISPLA Update - Proposed "Mobile Device Privacy Act"
- Rep. Edward Markey [D-MA-7] has prepared draft legislation of the "Mobile
Device Privacy Act" relative to last year's disclosure of geolocation of
cellphones by the company Carrier IQ to communication carriers, telephone
equipment manufactures, and operating systems manufacturers like Apple and
In a follow-up last week, The Washington Post writes: "The push for
legislation comes after it was found that a piece of software called Carrier
IQ was installed in about 150 cellphones from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The
software recorded data such as carrier networks, data transmission speeds,
phone numbers called, Web sites visited and battery life. The software was
designed to tell mobile carriers about the status of their networks, but the
company admitted in December that its software might have captured
keystrokes or the content of messages by accident."
Rep.Markey wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Carrier
IQ was being unfair or deceptive toward consumers, saying that the software
raised serious privacy concerns. Federal investigators are believed to be
investigating those allegations.
In a press release from Markey's office he states: "Consumers may have no
idea that through monitoring software their mobile devices are transmitting
personal information, including who is called and what is typed in text
messages, to third parties, including companies such as Carrier IQ. The
presence of this type of monitoring software on mobile devices should be
disclosed to consumers, says Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.),
co-Chair of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. Which is why
today, Rep. Markey released a discussion draft of "The Mobile Device Privacy
Act," legislation that 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. News broke last month that Carrier IQ
software installed on millions of smart phones and mobile devices can track
every keystroke of users and send the information back to the software
company without user knowledge or permission."
Representative Markey states his "Mobile Device Privacy Act" would protect
consumers by requiring:
. Disclosure of mobile telephone monitoring software, including 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.
. Disclosure to include the fact that the monitoring software has
been installed on the phone, the types of information that are collected,
the identity of the third party to which the information is transmitted, and
how such information will be used.
. Consumer consent be obtained before monitoring software begins
collecting and transmitting information.
. Third party receiving the personal information must have policies
in place to secure the information.
. Agreements on transmission to third parties must be filed at the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
. Outline an enforcement regime for the FTC and FCC, along with
State Attorney General enforcement and a private right of action.
Link to Representative Markey's 15-page draft of his "Mobile Device Privacy
Act" is at:
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
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