Franken pushes bill aimed at 'stalking' apps

Sen. Al Franken is going to "try again" to pass an anti-stalking law that focuses specifically on what our mobile devices know about us -- and who can access the information.

He'll introduce a bill this week that would make it harder for companies to collect and sell location information from our cell phones and other mobile devices.

A similar bill, the Location Protection Privacy Act, got approval from the Senate judiciary committee in 2012, but died after running into opposition from business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Franken said the data created by users can be misused. He cited an example of a woman in northern Minnesota who sought help from a domestic violence program.

"When she was there, on her smartphone came a text message from her abuser, asking her why she was in a county building. She was scared, so they took her to a local courthouse to get a restraining order. And while she was there, she got a text message asking, 'Why are you in the court house. Are you getting a restraining order against me?' Now, these are called stalking apps, and they advertise themselves as such."

MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke about the bill with Franken. Click on the audio link above to hear the full conversation.

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