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Chicago Tonight WTTW – Geolocation Privacy Protection Act Awaits Action by Rauner

Chicago Tonight WTTW – Geolocation Privacy Protection Act Awaits Action by Rauner

But it could be bad for users’ experience, says Carl Szabo, senior policy counsel for the trade association NetChoice which advocates for fewer restrictions on online businesses.

“Having more pop-ups when you use your device or different pop-ups can create confusion,” Szabo said. “[This bill] begins messing with the notices we’ve become accustomed to using and become familiar with. It requires custom notifications for each app.”

Szabo is also concerned about the language in the bill, which says geolocation information includes the “precise” location of the device. “[HB3449] doesn’t define precise. Is it exactly where I am now? Is it the address? Is it the city block? … Without that that definition I worry there can be abuses of the gaps in the legislative language,” Szabo said. “[The bill] has undefined terms that leave businesses open to legal action.”

Opponents, like Szabo, say consumers are already protected under the federal legislation, specifically Section 5 of The Federal Trade Commission Act.

“We already have the laws on the books to address the concerns being raised by sponsors and supporters of the bill,” Szabo said. “The FTC Act is decades old, well established and enforced vigorously. … It prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices.”

Both the federal government and states’ attorneys can enforce the act, according to Szabo. “Complaints are filed fairly often by consumer advocate groups not only with the state attorney general but with the Federal Trade Commission itself,” he said.