Dingell Raises Questions about Privacy Protections of Cell Phone Location Data
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) raised questions about the privacy protections of cell phone location data during a hearing in the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
Video of Dingell’s questioning at the hearing is available here.
“Consumers are consistently losing control of their private information across the board,” Dingell said in the hearing. “First it was Equifax, then it was Facebook. Now, we’ve also learned that LocationSmart, a third-party aggregator of cell site location information was making Americans’ location data available to anyone with an internet connection. And when we’re talking about where someone’s phone is, what we’re really talking about is our real-time location any minute of the day, because I think just about everyone in this room has their cellphone in their purse or their pocket right now. These breaches of trust cannot become normal, and I worry that with each passing scandal, we’re becoming numb to the gross invasions of our privacy.”
A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 91 percent of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies. Dingell has repeatedly asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to investigate and crack down on privacy violations to ensure consumers are protected.
Dingell said after the hearing, “FCC must earnestly continue their investigation into how LocationSmart obtained cell site location information from carriers and whether that violates the law – it’s the Commission’s job. Investigating these privacy violations is vital, and I’m going to continue urging the Commission to engage more on the issue of protecting consumers’ privacy.”