Information, Please


WASHINGTON —Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
was busy on the privacy front last week.
He teamed with Joe Barton (R-Tex.), his cochair
on the House privacy caucus, to send
letters seeking information on data-disclosure,
collection and storage info from the
four major wireless carriers — AT&T, Verizon
Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.

They weren’t suggesting anything was
wrong, but werre concerned by an article
from The New York Times about a German
mobile-phone company that was tracking
users’ locations and destinations without
their knowledge.

The letters remind the carriers that there
is a provision in the Communications Act
that requires companies in this country to
get express authorization for use of location
information for commercial purposes
(for example, those weather aps that ask
your permission to use your current location),
and wanted to make sure the companies
are in full compliance.

They have given the companies until
April 19 to respond.