Congress considers ban on smartphone tracking apps

The bill is aimed at makers of so-called smartphone stalking apps, which allow the location of a cellphone to be tracked in secret

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The measure includes an exception for parents who wish to install location monitoring software on electronic devices used by children who are minors.

A number of educational and information initiatives are authorized by the registration, including a national study on the role of geolocation information in violence against women.

Among the opponents to Franken's legislation is the Software & Information Industry Association. It argues that the bill would dull innovation in the private sector without really addressing the problem of cyber stalking. It supports voluntary but enforceable codes of conduct for its industry. Such codes, it argues, are a more effective means for increasing transparency and consumer confidence.

Nevertheless, geolocation information has been used by a number of apps for both Android and iOS phones with some creepy results. However, even if Franken's measure clears the Judiciary committee, it's unlikely that the bill will get much further before the final gavel comes down on this session of Congress at the end of the year.

This story, "Congress considers ban on smartphone tracking apps" was originally published by PCWorld.

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