Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has drafted a mobile device privacy
bill in the wake of news last month that Carrier IQ software on smartphones and
other devices tracks user keystrokes without their knowledge or consent.
"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, who is co-chair of the
House privacy caucus and a proponent of online do-not-track legislation.
Markey has asked the FTC to investigate the software, and
has followed that up with a discussion draft of a bill that would require
disclosure of monitoring software, including that it has been installed on the
phone, what it is collecting and to whom the information is being sent. And it
would require that users opt in to the collection before it began. In addition,
the third parties would have to have information protection policies in place
and any carrier agreements to share information with third parties would have
to be filed at both the FTC and FCC.
"This is especially important for parents of children
and teens," said Markey, co-author of a separate bill that would boost
online privacy protection for kids. "I look forward to working with
stakeholders on my legislation and collaborating with my colleagues prior to
the formal introduction of the final legislation."