The Telecommunications Law Resource Center is the most comprehensive reference and news platform for communications law, covering broadcasting, cable, broadband, telephony and wireless;...
By Amy E. Bivins
The Federal Trade Commission would be charged with promulgating regulations requiring entities that sell mobile telephones directly to consumers or provide mobile and mobile broadband services to clearly and conspicuously disclose their use of monitoring software and to securely store any collected data under a draft mobile privacy bill circulated by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) Jan. 30.
The proposal responds to a December announcement that mobile software company Carrier IQ installed programs on millions of smart phones and mobile devices that could monitor users' activities and relay that information back to Carrier IQ without subscribers' knowledge. Markey has called on the FTC to investigate the company for potentially unfair or deceptive trade practices. Many putative class action lawsuits have also been filed.
A bill pending in the Senate (S. 1223), sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D. Minn.), would require mobile device service providers to get customers' express consent before collecting their geolocation data or sharing collected data with third parties.
The proposal would apply to persons in the business of selling mobile phones directly to consumers and providers of commercial mobile service or mobile broadband service to disclose the existence or installation of monitoring software on those devices. But it appears to reach significantly more broadly than that. It also would cover: “a person who operates a website or other online service from which a consumer downloads monitoring software for installation on a mobile telephone[.]”
The proposal defines monitoring software as having the capability to automatically monitor the usage of a mobile telephone or the location of the user and to transmit the information collected to another device or system, whether or not such capability is the primary function of the software.
The bill would require the FTC to promulgate regulations requiring clear and conspicuous notices to consumers and express consent prior to the time when the monitoring software first begins collecting and transmitting information. The FTC would also be charged with creating data security requirements for that data. Covered entities would be required to file those notices with the FTC and Federal Communications Commission.
The proposal would be enforceable under Section 5, and also by the FCC and state attorneys general. The proposal also includes a private right of action for injunctive relief, actual damages, or statutory damages of $1,000 for each violation.
Full text of the discussion draft is available at http://markey.house.gov/bill/mobile-device-privacy-act.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)