Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meanwhile....Over In the Senate: Senator Kirk and the GPS Act

On June 14, 2011, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah's 3rd introduced H.R.2168 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The next day, Senator Ron Wyden or Oregon, introduced a companion bill, S. 1212, in the U.S. Senate.  Officially stated, the purpose of the bills is: "Bipartisan Legislation Provides Needed Legal Clarity for Use of Geolocation Information".  Unofficially, Congress is working to define limits on the use of location data collected from GPS enabled electronic devices.  Included in the bills are some specific exemptions for the Law Enforcement and 9-1-1 communities.

Recently, the lone co-sponsor of the bill in the Senate, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois released a video explaining why he is supporting the bill.  To view, click the picture above or go here.

Additional information can be found here:
  • Senator Wyden's bill release page is here.
  • Representative Chaffetz's bill release page is here.
  • Detailed information about the progress of this bill can be found here.

Comment: It's encouraging to see elected representatives acknowledging that the law of the land has not kept up with the geolocation times.  However, the question in the balance is this: Will the final legislation adequately address the very real need for access to geolocation information by parts of the Emergency Services Sector that are not Law Enforcement or 9-1-1 (i.e. pandemic event management), and will it be written with enough flexibility to handle the Geospatial Revolution going forward?

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