New federal bill drafted in response to Carrier IQ privacy concerns

A new bill drafted in the House of Representatives would give the Federal Trade Commission power to regulate "monitoring software" that transmits personal information such as location data. This bill seems to have been drafted at least partially in response to Carrier IQ, which sparked privacy debates when it was discovered on multiple carrier's phones last fall.

The drafted bill is called the Mobile Device Privacy Act, or MDPA, and was introduced Monday by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). As you might recall, Markey is the same Congressman who expressed interest in investigating Carrier IQ in December 2011. The MDPA bill, which is a discussion draft and has not yet been introduced as a formal bill, can be viewed in PDF format here.

Carrier IQ's software was found on phones from carriers including AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. While Carrier IQ claims the software is designed to simply assist carriers in troubleshooting network failures and other issues, the Mountain View, California company is currently facing at least four lawsuits, pressure from Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and investigations from the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. In the face of so much legal action already, the necessity of a new federal law regulating monitoring software and the time and money spent to pass it seems a little questionable.

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"In the face of so much legal action already, the necessity of a new federal law regulating monitoring software and the time and money spent to pass it seems a little questionable."

Yeah, when was the last time Congress passed any legislation that didn't include provisions they'd rather not talk about, or at the least, unintended consequences? Gotten to where not only doesn't Congress act when it clearly should, e.g. to prevent gov shutdowns, but when/if they're actually willing to pass something the 1st thing anyone asks is: and what are they gonna screw up now?

Seems here all of the sudden..a lot of "technology" based bills are being drafted. And it seems it's mostly coming from democrats.

I can't remember one technology bill going before the house and senate when Bush was in the White House.

texasghost said,
Seems here all of the sudden..a lot of "technology" based bills are being drafted. And it seems it's mostly coming from democrats.

I can't remember one technology bill going before the house and senate when Bush was in the White House.

Rather than getting into any political sort of debate, I'll just point out that the US prez doesn't create or pass legislation -- the prez can request it, the prez can have staff write up what they think it should look like, but the only actual role the president has is to sign (or veto) whatever both houses of Congress pass.

That said, Republicans didn't control Congress non-stop from 2000 - 2008, so *if* nothing you'd consider tech-related passed, Dems share the blame... it's not like there were loads of vetos during those years.

Well, this sounds like a good thing (perhaps they will be stricter about what software gets put onto phones) but it also sounds like they can turn this and use their for their own benefit. So I'm not exactly sure what to think here.