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New York City could ban the unauthorized sale of phone location data

New York Metropolis would possibly successfully ban the controversial observe of promoting shoppers’ telephone location knowledge, if a brand new invoice proposed this week passes the town council.

The invoice, believed to be the primary of its form, would require wi-fi carriers and apps to get express permission earlier than giving third events geolocation knowledge collected throughout the metropolis. Beneath the plan, the town’s Division of Info Know-how and Telecommunications can be tasked with implementing the invoice, and will levy steep penalties on offenders. A violator may very well be fined $1,000 for every violation, or $10,000 for every individual’s knowledge shared, if a number of violations occurred on the identical day.

The invoice will transfer to committee hearings forward of a wider council vote.

Companies that promote geolocation data have confronted new scrutiny previously 12 months, as a number of investigations have spotlighted how the delicate knowledge is broadly obtainable, usually with out shoppers noticing. Nonetheless, whereas the Federal Communications Fee has mentioned it’s investigating the difficulty, there’s been little federal or native motion.

“We as a city have a chance to lead the charge on this,” Councilman Justin Brannan, who launched the invoice, mentioned in a press release. “If the federal government won’t ban this dangerous breach of people’s privacy, then we have to. I look forward to working with my colleagues and passing this bill into law, so we can send the message that invasive and nonconsensual business practices like these won’t fly in New York.”