House Wants Cell Phone Owners Warned of Tracking Software
A new bill being introduced by Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey would require cell phone makers and network operators to inform consumers about any location-tracking or information-sharing software/services that are installed on the device. "Consumers have the right to know and to say no to the presence of software on their mobile devices that can collect and transmit their personal and sensitive information," said Markey. "While consumers rely on their phones, their phones relay all sorts of information about them, often without their knowledge or consent. I am concerned about the threat to consumers’ privacy posed by electronic monitoring software on mobile phones. Today I am releasing draft legislation to provide greater transparency into the transmission of consumers’ personal information and empower consumers to say no to such transmission." The Mobile Device Privacy Act covers a wide range of scenarios and demands that customers be informed about what software is on board, what information it collects, to which entity it sends that information, and requires that the receiving entities store the information securely.
Verizon to Test AppFlash Search Tool On Some Android Phones
Verizon Wireless is prepared to roll out a new search tool on select Android handsets over the next few weeks. The tool, called Appflash, was developed by Evie.
Senators Revise Anti-Encryption Bill, Opposition Mounts
Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina have circulated a revised draft of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. The bill would require tech companies to "provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data." If passed into law, it would largely negate the benefits of using encryption on mobile devices, which are meant to protect personal information.
Bill Would Compel Companies to Break Encryption
A new bill introduced by members of the House and Senate would force smartphone makers to crack encryption on devices any time law enforcement asks. A draft of the bill, submitted by Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina, says tech firms "must provide in a timely manner responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information." Feinstein and Burr have been threatening such legislation since last year, but the notion has taken a new direction ever since the FBI asked Apple to help decrypt an iPhone and Apple refused.
Verizon to Pay FCC $1.35M Fine Over Supercookies
Verizon will pay the FCC a fine of $1.35 million to settle claims the company's wireless business violated customer privacy. The FCC says between 2012 and 2014, Verizon Wireless did not adequately disclose to customers how it used supercookies to gather user data.
California to Require Warrants for Stingrays
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that prohibits the government from snooping on citizens' electronic communications without first obtaining a warrant. The law, called the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, forbids the government from "accessing electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device." For example, police will no longer be able to use stingrays unless they get permission from a judge to do so.
How about the ability to REMOVE software we don't want?
How 'bout we just don't get tracked?