Schumer: New billboards will collect phone data

Posted at 10:54 AM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 12:34:12-04

New billboards being installed across the country will be used to collect your mobile phone data, according to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

Schumer says whether you are walking by them, or driving by, you could be tracked. Now he is asking the feds to investigate and ensure that the privacy of millions is protected.

The senator is urging the Federal Trade Commission to make it a requirement for these companies to inform the consumer and offer an opt-out.

"A person's cell phone should not become a James Bond-like personal tracking device for a corporation to gather information about consumers without their consent," said Schumer. "No one wants to be followed or tracked throughout their day, electronically or otherwise, so these new billboards not only raise eyebrows, but they raise some serious questions about privacy. New Yorkers and tourists in Times Square could be giving up a treasure trove of personal information without even knowing it. With tens of thousands of these new, spying billboards popping up in cities across the country, including right here in New York City, the feds should step in and investigate. Moreover, companies should be required to offer an opt-out option for consumers who feel this violates their privacy."

Companies often use location data as a way to boost their consumer-information base. Schumer says this may violate the privacy of Americans and therefore, constitute a deceptive trade practice because most consumers do not know that they are being tracked.