Los Angeles—In his weekly video message, City Attorney Mike Feuer called privacy "a fundamental right," and called upon Congress to take action to pass strong measures to guarantee privacy and protect users of online apps.
"Recent news reports describe in startling detail how mobile app companies continuously tracked users' precise GPS coordinates and share this data with advertisers, political campaigns, hedge funds and bounty hunters," said Feuer. "Another investigation revealed major cell phone providers have done much the same thing, when at least one promised not to. The came another report, just a few days ago, that apps relating to very sensitive information, like health and personal finances, provide that highly personal data to Facebook."
In January, on behalf of the People of California, Feuer sued The Weather Channel App, owned by IBM, for allegedly covertly mining the geolocation data of users and providing that information to third parties.
In addition to enforcing existing laws, Feuer advocated for changes in federal law, including assuring ordinary consumers get understandable notice and consent terms up front, restricting the data companies can collect, giving users control of their data and instituting safeguards to secure data.
"Protecting privacy in the digital age should be a bipartisan priority," Feuer said.