Franken Seeks Answers From Clear Channel

Cites Reports of Information-Collecting Billboards

WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wants information from Clear Channel Outdoor Americas about its new Radar service.

Citing a story in The New York Times about the service, which is launching in 11 cities, Franken said he was alarmed by the report that it was teaming with AT&T, among others, to track cellphone location data to target advertising campaigns.

“I am concerned about the extent to which Clear Channel may be collecting Americans’ personal information, including sensitive location data, and sharing that information without people’s knowledge or consent,” Franken, the ranking member and former chair of the Senate Privacy and Technology Subcommittee, wrote. “I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes an individual’s access to information about what data are being collected about them, how the data are being treated, and with whom the data are being shared.”

Franken said Clear Channel’s privacy policy is unclear, and wanted responses to a number of questions, including how the information collected is randomized, whether it is retained, and wants a list of all the outside parties that share consumer information with Clear Channel, a division of media company iHeartMedia.