A new law is expected to be signed soon by Bruce Rauner, the Governor of the US state of Illinois. It is called Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449), and if signed, it will make tracking someone’s geolocation via phone illegal, if the owner of the phone didn’t give their consent.
This is the new way of protecting citizens’ privacy, and if a company is caught tracking someone, they will receive a penalty. The penalty will be at least $1,000, and court costs and attorney fees will also be paid by the guilty party.
According to the law itself, it will be illegal to use not only someone’s smartphone for tracking them but also a laptop, as well as a tablet.
However, the bill doesn’t cover IP addresses. Also, the law can be bent for certain occasions, which will include locating a missing child or finding someone in an emergency.
Many are wondering if the law is actually necessary since a lot of apps, websites, and even devices already ask for an approval. If they do, good for them, but a lot of times, the permission is not even asked, and much less granted. The law is coming for that kind of situations.
Many examples of such incidents have been reported. One of them ended up with a lawsuit against Apple for tracking users without permission, and even giving it to third parties. WhatsApp was found to be doing a similar thing when it shared users’ location with Google Maps, supposedly because of a glitch.And in September, it was also discovered that Google Play track you too. And there is no pre-app choice for the user to make.
And in September, it was also discovered that Google Play track you too. And there is no pre-app choice for the user to make.
The only way to stop an app like that from tracking you would be to turn off location tracker completely. However, that is still not as practical, because you sometimes need it in order to find your way and get to your destination.
So, whether the law will have a real impact or not, only time can tell. The sole fact that Illinois is trying to pass a law like that shows that its sharp rules against data privacy are still there.
This state’s Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act is among the strongest ones of its kind in the country. Basically, it bans social networks, Google, and similar companies from using things like eye scans, facial scans, voiceprints, fingerprints and alike without a written approval from the user.
More of laws like these are also expected to be passed, like the Right to Know Act. This one will make companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and alike actually publically disclose what data are they harvesting and sharing around.
Some have said that passing laws like that is a waste of time, but many others agree that it is more than necessary to have them. Without laws like that, companies like Google would try to experiment with data without consent. This can lead to major privacy breaches, but as long as it is not illegal, why should they care?
No matter what some say, the majority believes that passing laws like this is not a waste of time. It is actually one of the rare occasions when the internet users get protected, for a change.