The state of Massachusetts took the lead in banning the sale of users’ location data


Massachusetts plans to completely ban the sale and purchase of smartphone location data by passing a new law, becoming the first state in America to do so. The Massachusetts state legislature held hearings on a bill called the “Location Shield Act” that seeks to crack down on the multibillion-dollar online smartphone advertising business. According to the announcement Wall street Journalthe proposed Massachusetts law would apply to smartphone location data in the state.

In addition to protecting the state’s smartphone users from having their location information bought and sold, a new Massachusetts law requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to access smartphone location data. The bill also prohibits data brokers from providing users’ geographic location information in the state.

So far, 10 states in the US have passed privacy laws under both Republican and Democratic legislatures, and a bipartisan proposal for a national bill has been proposed, but so far none of them have had enough support. No state has outright banned the sale and purchase of location data, and most have simply required brokers and other companies that use such information to obtain explicit consent from users for their use.

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