Chairman Franken Announces Hearing on Mobile Technology & Privacy; Invitees Include Reps. from Apple, Google
Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy is First Hearing of New Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
Today, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, announced that he will be holding the subcommittee's first hearing, titled Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy on Tuesday, May 10 at 10:00 am. Sen. Franken has invited representatives from Apple and Google. Confirmed witnesses include officials from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; Ashkan Soltani, independent privacy researcher and consultant; and Justin Brookman, Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology's Project on Consumer Privacy.
"Recent advances in mobile technology have allowed Americans to stay connected like never before and put an astonishing number of resources at our fingertips," said Sen. Franken. "But the same technology that has given us smartphones, tablets, and cell phones has also allowed these devices to gather extremely sensitive information about users, including detailed records of their daily movements and location. This hearing is the first step in making certain that federal laws protecting consumers' privacy-particularly when it comes to mobile devices-keep pace with advances in technology.
"I also want to thank Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy for making this issue a priority and scheduling a hearing on this important topic so quickly," Sen. Franken continued.
Who: Sen. Al Franken, Chairman, Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
What: Hearing on Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy
When: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:00 am
Where: 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Protecting Minnesotans' and Americans' consumer rights and privacy has been a priority for Sen. Franken since he came to the Senate. Last week, he sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking him to address privacy concerns about the company's iOS 4 operating system, which security researchers have said secretly stores detailed information about users' locations on their iPhones, iPads, and any computers to which the devices are synched, generally in an unencrypted format.
Last year, Sen. Franken pressed Attorney General Holder to incorporate an analysis of geotags—information about a person's location that is embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones—into an updated stalking victimization study connected to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This March, Sen. Franken also led several of his Senate colleagues in urging Facebook to stop plans that would have permitted third party application providers to access users' home addresses and phone numbers. Earlier this month, he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to clarify its interpretation of a critical federal law that protects personal data after a security breach at Epsilon Data Management and allegations that several popular smartphone applications were gathering and disclosing users' private information without their knowledge or consent.