protecting-your-privacy

Featured: A Mobile Device Privacy Act: Must Ask Before Collecting Data

September 16, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner

We’ve at all one point or another been involved in the government acts like PIPA and SOPA, more than likely it only consisted of signing a petition, but I bet they are spamming your inboxes now aren’t they? I get them all the time, but are now set to go straight to “junk.” Bills like PIPA and SOPA were the government’s way of trying to sneak policies making internet usage “more secure” before the public actually knew what they were. Ha! That blew up in their faces didn’t it?

The government has a new bill they would like to introduce, but this one is much more on the opposite side of “pool.” They call this act the Mobile Device Privacy Act. This act will help us with those pesky companies or high-end developers who claim to need “data” in order to run their apps. Here’s some examples:

  • “Google uses it to feed us ads.”
  • Malicious apps use it to spam us.
  • Facebook uses it to suggest more friends, but also to give us more ads.

This is just a few examples, trust me when I say, there are plenty more! The MDP (I will call it) act will enable more privacy and make it mandatory for such companies to make their users’ fully aware that they want to “collect” data. So in other words, they need YOUR permission to get any data. Forgive me while I fall onto the floor laughing! Like they wouldn’t’ find some way to rig that so that users’ would have no idea. I’m mean sure, they will do it, but it’s just like those programs you want to install on computers. They are required now to ask the user if they want to install those pesky toolbars! Man, do I hate those!!!  If you don’t pay really careful attention, some have it so “out of sight” you may miss it, but believe me it’s there, because by law it has to be, but it doesn’t have to be easy to see. So, why would this be any different?

In the long run, these applications will now have to make you aware of taking data before they actually take it, and if you say no, well then they are out of luck! You may have already seen these with third party apps that connect to Facebook or Twitter. You will come to a screen that says “Allow” or “Don’t Allow.” Most people will choose “Don’t Allow” depending on what it is, and if it’s absolutely necessary.

If any company or person should decide to break this it’s a $1,000 fine for UNKNOWINGLY breaking it, and $3,000 breaking It intentionally. Of course, I’m not sure who would “unknowingly” break this act. I also think the fines should be more severe or at least higher. I mean if you pirate a CD or software program you’re looking at a federal crime! I don’t see why this should be viewed any differently. Of course, this is also fines that go by “infraction” which means a fine “per time you perform it.” Android Authority cleverly put together this example to show:

1000 people download an app that is “stealing” data without first asking. The app then collects data four times from each person, which would equal 4,000 infractions and at $3,000 a pop is a total of 12 million bucks! Meh, that isn’t too bad, but I still think it should be more. Stealing is a crime, and it shouldn’t be viewed any differently just because we are consumers’ and not some big corporation. It shouldn’t be any different than stealing copyrighted material like music, movies, software, etc.

Now, some may not agree with me, and think this is clearly a sufficient punishment, but my biggest pet peeves? Lying, cheating, and stealing! Stealing is stealing, and there’s no reason it should be viewed different on any level, it’s STEALING! If you want something, well you should earn it. There are much more solid ways of obtaining information, and I’m sure it could be done within the law and on an HONEST level! Let’s not make yourself look selfish, greedy, and to put it bluntly,  a criminal!

Yay or Nay for Mobile Device Piracy Act? Sound off 1, 2, 3….GO!!

 

Sources: Android Authority