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Franken battles smartphone 'stalker apps'

Posted by: under Minnesota U.S. senators Updated: December 6, 2012 - 4:55 PM
It’s not every day that a U.S. Senate hearing is interrupted by a commercial message, but U.S. Sen. Al Franken decided that Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing on his Internet privacy bill would benefit from an example.
 
Taking aim at federal loopholes that allow smartphone, app and wireless companies to share consumer location data culled from the Internet services they provide, the Minnesota Democrat has been calling attention to a fast-growing “stalking app” industry.
 
Thus he read into the record from the homepage of an app called ePhoneTracker: “Worried that your spouse might be cheating?” “Track every text, every call and every move they make using our easy cell phone spy software…”
 
According to government reports, stalking apps are not just used to keep tabs on errant spouses, teenagers or employees. They’re also used to stalk thousands of unsuspecting women by men using GPS technology.
 
Franken, who has been working on Internet privacy legislation for a year, hopes to get the bill through the Judiciary committee next week.

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