Congress is considering new legislation that would require warning labels on smartphone applications made in countries the United States deems a national security threat, including China, Russia, and Iran.
The legislation spearheaded by Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, would require app store operators to inform Americans before they download an application that could surreptitiously collect their data and send it to an enemy state.
“This bill will help inform us as to what exactly we’re agreeing to when we hit the download button on some apps on the app store,” Banks told the Washington Free Beacon. “If an app is being used by a foreign government to take advantage of us, we need to be informed.”
Data harvesting threatens anyone who uses a smartphone. Applications routinely siphon off data and send it to servers hosted in foreign countries. Any app produced by a hostile regime could pose a significant risk to American users.