Delaney: Social Media and Mobile Consumers Need New Privacy Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

CONTACT: Ahmed Elsayed, 301-500-8642, ahmed@johnkdelaney.compress@johnkdelaney.com

 

Delaney: Social Media and Mobile Consumers Need New Privacy Protections

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – On Monday, the New York Times reported on widespread collection of extremely-detailed location data via mobile device apps. Democratic presidential candidate Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) says that the reporting by the Times is yet more evidence that social media and mobile consumers need new privacy protections.

According to The Times, “at least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services,” and that “the database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day.”

“The American people are being tracked, monitored, and monetized and in most cases they have no idea that it’s happening. The reporting from the New York Times shows in shocking clarity just how detailed and invasive this geo-location data could be and that the individuals tracked include minors,” said Congressman Delaney. “We need new national privacy protections and far better disclosure. Consumers need to be told, clearly and plainly, what is being done with their data before they sign up for anything or agree to anything and there needs to be far greater oversight into what data can be collected and sold.”

“Instead of trying to recreate the past, we need a White House that is focused on the future and trying to solve the problems of the future. I believe that new technology is additive, but we also have to update protections and standards as new technologies are developed. We need national data privacy standards and I believe that we can and should get that done on a bipartisan basis. This is something that everyone should want,” Delaney added.

The Times reported that of the 17 apps they surveyed that share location data, only three told users during the permission process that their data could be shared.

Earlier this year, Delaney filed the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, bipartisan legislation that authorizes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research technology and media’s effects on infants, children, and adolescents.

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