Senator Al Franken has introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act (S. 1223), which would ban spyware that sneaks onto your cell phone and tells someone else your GPS location or other sensitive information. Such apps are being marketed to employers who want to spy on their employees, to people who want to spy on their spouses, and to parents who want to spy on their children.
Supporters of Franken’s bill rightly recognize the dangers such spyware poses. “It’s really, really troubling that an industry would see an opportunity to make money off of strengthening someone’s opportunity to control and threaten another individual,” says Karen Jarmoc, ED of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
One problem with the bill: it specifically exempts parents who want to spy on their children. That’s right. An abusive husband wanting to keep watch on his wife would be denied this creepy assistance, but an abusive father wanting to keep watch on his daughter through her cellphone would still enjoy full access to such spyware.
There is still time, however, to change this. Senators can still make adjustments to the bill before passing it. So please write to your state’s Senators today and ask them to remove this exemption for abusive parents. Let your Senators know that you expect them to protect citizens of all ages, children included.
But I’m not old enough to vote, you say. Will they really care about my opinion? You don’t have to tell them your age. Just make sure they know you live in their state, and make it clear you want them to remove the exemption for parents and protect the privacy of all Americans.