Senate panel to examine ‘stalking apps’

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Sen Al Franken (D-MN) will hold a hearing on “stalking apps,” which can secretly track people through their smartphones.

“I believe that Americans have the right to control who can collect that information, and whether or not it can be given to third parties,” said Sen Franken, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy. “But right now, companies -- some legitimate, some not -- are collecting your location and giving it to whomever they want.”

The bill also has a provision to end specific “stalking” apps that can be used by one person to secretly track another person. “My commonsense bill helps a whole range of people, and would finally put an end to GPS stalking apps that allow abusers to secretly track their victims,” Sen Franken said.

That bill will be the subject of the subcommittee’s June 4 hearing, which will include testimony from representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the Government Accountability Office and local law enforcement, as well as the National Consumers League and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Senate panel to examine ‘stalking apps’