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Geolocation Privacy Legislation

This page provides information on congressional bills that seek to clarify how personal location information may be used by law enforcement, companies, employers, and others. This page is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to influence, endorse, or express opinions on any ongoing legal deliberations.

Several U.S. states and non-U.S. jurisdictions have enacted laws establishing personal location privacy rights. However, current U.S. statute at the federal level does not provide clear protection of geolocation information.

Learn more about GPS and privacy

Transportation Appropriations Acts

More info:

BILL

The Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill for the Department of Transportation, HUD, and related agencies includes the following provision applicable to the Department of Transportation.

Sec. 143. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to mandate global positioning system (GPS) tracking in private passenger motor vehicles without providing full and appropriate consideration of privacy concerns under 5 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II. View PDF (2.1 MB)

5 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II, refers to the Administrative Procedure Act.

Legislative History

LAW

Congress enacted identical language for Fiscal Years 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015:

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GPS Act

BILL

The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act seeks to establish a legal framework that gives government agencies, commercial entities, and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used.

The bill would create a process whereby government agencies can get a probable cause warrant to obtain geolocation information in the same way that they currently get warrants for wiretaps or other types of electronic surveillance.

In addition, the GPS Act would prohibit businesses from disclosing geographical tracking data about its customers to others without the customers' permission.

Bill Status

Legislative History

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