In an effort to prevent government and industry abuse of location data, members of Congress recently announced two federal geolocation privacy bills. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act, introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), would require law enforcement to show probable cause and obtain a warrant to track location through mobile devices.

Addressing the geolocation issue with regard to the entities aggregating the actual data, a bill introduced by Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) requires: (1) the express consent of users prior to sharing geolocation data, and (2) the deletion of user geolocation data upon request.

While both bills seek to protect citizens from unwanted physical tracking, they also both rely on the presumption that the geolocation privacy is in fact desired. At least one writer argues that the bills may be undermined by promotions, coupons and other incentives encouraging consumers to make available their personal geolocation data