INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 13, 2012, 08:38 PM

Cyber-stalking bill passes through the Senate

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Imagine downloading a cell phone app, that could track your spouse better than any detective. The scary thing, for just 50-dollars, you can.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Imagine downloading a cell phone app, that could track your spouse better than any detective. The scary thing, for just 50-dollars, you can.

Senator Al Franken has fought for months to make these types of cyber stalking apps illegal. And today, his proposed bill passed through the Senate.

In an age when nearly everyone uses a cell phone, and sending a text may be more common than conversation, personal information is collected at an alarming rate right from your fingertips- often ending up in the hands of the wrong people.

Fischer: "All you've got to do is download this little app and I can find out where you're at. Just imagine what the criminals could do with that."

Senator Al Franken has been working protect personal privacy, and crack down on cyber-stalking software.

Franken: "People have the right to privacy and they have the right to give permission if they want people to track them."

Creating a bill that would criminalize any act that collects location data of cell phone users without their permission.

Franken: "This is terrifying. There are these apps that advertise themselves as stalking apps"

Apps like ePhoneTracker, targeting couples who think their partner may be cheating. For fifty dollars, the app can secretly monitor almost anything on someone's phone without them having any idea. Then send that information back to the other person.

Fischer: "Everybody walks in here and says hey do you got something that I can plug into my husband's phone or my wife's phone and I can find out where they're at anytime of the day."

Location tracking also happens when apps share data with third party advertisers, usually without consent from the user.

"Some people might find it kind of creepy you could say I guess."

"It's a privacy issue when people are using it to track you when you don't really know it. I guess the key is knowing when it's on and when it's off."

But according to Franken, sometimes you can never tell just who is watching. The bill excludes government entities use of tracking as well as parents who want to monitor their children.

Tags: