Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wireless location tracking draws privacy questions

CNET "Wireless products that can do everything from tracking your children to finding you a nearby date this weekend seem to fall outside the scope of federal privacy laws, and that may need to change, an industry group said.
At a panel discussion hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, which aims at informing legislative aides, a wireless industry representative on Tuesday said he's concerned that many products that use geographic location technology, such as those found in cars, aren't being held to the same standards as traditional wireless phone carriers.
'We're going to see in the next year pretty much all of the national wireless carriers deploy handsets that work on licensed commercial spectrum and also work off Wi-Fi hot spots,' said Michael Altschul, general counsel to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), an international trade association representing wireless carriers, suppliers and providers of wireless services. 'I don't want a customer who starts a call in a Starbucks using a Wi-Fi hot spot, then steps outside and the call is handed off to a commercial mobile service, to have different privacy expectations.' "

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