Massachusetts Bill Aims to Prohibit Sale of Location Data

Massachusetts Bill Aims to Prohibit Sale of Location Data
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As technology continues to advance, the protection of personal data and privacy becomes increasingly crucial. In response to this growing concern, Massachusetts legislators have proposed Bill H.357, which aims to prohibit mobile device location data from being scooped up and sold to advertisers.


Under the proposed legislation, businesses are prohibited from collecting an individual's location information without consent, except for permissible purposes such as providing requested services, such as rideshare applications, or complying with legal obligations, such as location verification for sports betting. Entities are prohibited from collecting more precise location information than necessary for the permissible purpose, retaining it for longer than necessary, or deriving unnecessary data from location information. This ensures that individuals have greater control over how their location data is used and shared, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or misuse.

Businesses must provide individuals with a Location Privacy Policy, or “a description of the policies, practices, and procedures controlling a covered entity’s collection, processing, management, storage, retention, and deletion of location information.” Consent must be renewed periodically.

Bill H.357 seeks to curb the commercialization of location information by prohibiting businesses from selling, renting, trading, or leasing such data to third parties. This bill reinforces individuals' privacy rights and curtails the potential for excessive surveillance or unauthorized data sharing. To ensure compliance, Bill H.357 grants individuals the right to bring civil actions against those who violate the legislation.

Bill H.357 presents significant cybersecurity benefits for Massachusetts businesses and individuals alike. Business leaders should familiarize themselves with the provisions of this bill and take proactive steps to align their practices with the proposed regulations. By prioritizing cybersecurity and respecting individual privacy, businesses can build trust, protect their customers, and contribute to a more secure digital landscape.