Sen. Franken's 'Stalking Apps' Bill Scheduled for Vote

Updated: 12/13/2012 2:25 PM KSTP.com By: Naomi Pescovitz

By now you may have realized the apps on your smartphone can track where you are just about every moment. But did you know companies can share that information without your permission? Minnesota Senator Al Franken is proposing legislation to change that.

The Location Privacy Protection Act would require companies to get customers' permission before gathering location data and sharing it.

"Right now, companies, some legitimate and some kind of sleazy, are collecting your location and your child's location and selling it to third parties," Franken said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill on Thursday.

"I believe that Americans have the right to control who can collect their location and whether or not it can be given to third parties," Franken said.

The bill, frequently referred to as the "Stalking Apps Bill," would also make it a crime to intentionally operate a stalking application to facilitate stalking.

"They are apps that you can put on phones to literally listen to phone calls while they are going on, monitor text messages, deleted text messages, to see all the pictures and videos that are taken," said Rebekah Moses, Program Manager at the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

"Survivors use their cell phones to call 911, for safety, to reach out to advocates for emotional support, to reach out to friends and family for emotional support," Moses said.