New York City Can Ban Unauthorized Phone Location Data Sharing

The Verge claims if the New York City Council passed a new bill this week, the City of New York may effectively ban the sale of consumer smartphone location data.

This bill is considered to be the first in the United States. We mean it is going to require wireless carriers and applications to obtain explicit permission before providing third-party geographic data. Under the plan, the New York City Information Technology and Telecommunications Department will be responsible for enforcing the bill and may impose high fines on offenders. If multiple violations occur on the same day, the offender will be fined $1,000 for each violation or $10,000 for each person who shares the data.

Telecommunications firms and mobile-based apps make billions of dollars per year by selling customer location data to marketers and other businesses. With this move, they are offering a vast window into the whereabouts of cellphone and app users, often without their knowledge.

In the past year, companies that sell geographic location information are facing new scrutiny. Multiple surveys have found that consumers are often not aware of how sensitive data is captured. Although the US Federal Communications Commission said it was investigating the matter. The federal or local government took almost no action.

The bill was proposed by Justin Brannan. He said: ‘We as a city have a chance to lead the charge on this. If the federal government won’t ban this dangerous breach of people’s privacy, then we have to. I look forward to working with my colleagues and passing this bill into law, so we can send the message that invasive and nonconsensual business practices like these won’t fly in New York.’

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