By Ed Oswald | Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm
At a congressional hearing about complaints over phones storing the location of their users, you certainly wouldn’t expect a government agency to request such activity be made law. But that’s exactly what the Justice Department did Tuesday in Washington, D.C., asking lawmakers to consider such legislation.
The DOJ’s reasoning for it is to be able to track the whereabouts of criminals. Obviously, whether law enforcement wants to do this for sanguine reasons or not, it’s likely to ruffle the feathers of privacy advocates — and probably some in Congress.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is one of them, and was one of the first to publicly take Apple to task over the issue late last month. In fact, Tuesday’s hearing was Franken’s idea as he chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.
Will this fly? Probably not. Franken again at the hearing called for regulation on how data is collected as well as disclosure to consumers on how they’re being tracked. There’s little doubt that Franken wouldn’t support efforts by the DOJ or any other government agency for that matter to expand or legalize this type of tracking.
Could there be valid reasons for doing this? Oh, I’m sure of that. But in the end, I don’t see how consumers could get any true promise that their every move isn’t being tracked by Big Brother. These efforts should be approved on a case-by-base basis, not given a blanket approval through legislation.
That’s just asking for trouble in my eyes.