U.S Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) announced bipartisan House legislation on Wednesday to regulate how mobile devices' location data can be used by law enforcement, commercial entities or private citizens.


Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) co-authored the Geolocation, Privacy and Security (GPS) Act and related legislation has been introduced to the Senate by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Welch announced his support for the bill in Montpelier and Brattleboro.

“Consumers greatly benefit from a multitude of new technologies and devices, but there is also a downside,” he said. “Abuse of this technology can lead to an invasion of privacy and civil liberties. Our bill provides a clean legal framework on when and how this technology can be used. It provides much-needed clarity to consumers, law enforcement and commercial providers.”

The GPS Act would require the government to show probable cause and get a warrant before acquiring the geolocational information of a U.S. person and create criminal penalties for secretly using an electronic device to track a person’s movements. It would also prohibit businesses from sharing customers’ geolocational information with third parties without the customer's consent.