At a meeting of the House Privacy Caucus this afternoon, three outside groups addressed the collection, storage and use of location-based user data in the wake of recent media reports that indicate mobile devices are collecting customers’ personal location data. It follows a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the same issue Tuesday.

Andrea Williams, from CTIA – The Wireless Association, mostly emphasized CTIA's guidelines for location-based services.

Marc Rotenberg of EPIC emphasized the need to enable the use of location based services while protecting users' privacy. He commended CTIA's efforts to set standards and lamented that, though he asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set rules in this area over a decade ago, when E-911 was first rolling out, the FCC still has yet to take a position. According to Rotenberg, the situation has changed little from ten years ago: the end user should still be able to control their location data.

Morgan Reed of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) explained that he represented tons of very small businesses who make mobile applications. Those applications, he said, are being developed all over the country and unlike the dot-com boom, only thirty percent of ACT's businesses are based in California. Morgan emphasized that the most recent debates about location data privacy came from the Google Wi-Spy revelations and that his members ultimately "don't collect a whole lot of data."

The House Privacy Caucus is an ongoing project of Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX).