Hypocrisy in app location legislation

Yesterday I noted this article:

http://j.mp/XzsJNp  (New York Times)

about efforts to pass legislation to further controls apps' use
of mobile location data.

It's appropriate to point out here the fundamental hypocrisy of most
governments relating to this kind (and many other kinds) of
Internet-related data.

By and large, it is in Internet services' own best interests to be
quite conservative in their handling of such data.  The data is
usually anonymized (and compartmented to significant degrees), and a
range of rules are in place to minimize the risk of abuse either
internally or externally.

But at the same time that governments are calling for crackdowns on
this sort of data collection by commercial firms, who use it merely to
serve ads, these same governments -- including the U.S., in the EU,
and elsewhere -- are pushing for massive Internet location (and other
data, including email) data collection and retention for governments'
own largely unfettered use, often without any warrant requirements, and
frequently in secret.  They're pushing for laws to require telcos to
collect and maintain location data from mobile devices -- data that
users cannot control or disable so long as their devices are active
and associated with the mobile networks.

I consider these moves by government to be of vastly more concern than
commercial firms who want to serve me more relevant and interesting
ads to help keep free Internet services free.

A cynical observer might wonder if part of the push to impose restrictions
on commercial location data apps is a bit of a diversionary tactic to
draw attention from governments' own grandiose data demands.

-- Lauren --
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