Sen. Scott pushing for better information for consumers on origin of apps, products

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – From the apps we download on our phones to the things we buy online, technology is supposed to make life easier and a little more fun. But how many of us really know where it’s all coming from?

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) says that could be putting your data and privacy at risk. So he’s pushing to change that and keep your information away from hostile foreign countries.

“I think it’s common sense,” Sen. Scott said. “Everyone should know where products are made.”

Scott says his proposed PRIME Act would make it easier for people to find that information.

“What it’s going to require is online retailers to tell you the origin of the products they sell,” he explained.

Sen. Scott introduced the PRIME Act last week. The announcement came on the heels of recent revelations that the popular FaceApp was actually developed in Russia. That discovery set off alarm bells and, according to Sen. Scott, serves as a reminder that consumers need to know where their money and data is going. He says that will help them make informed choices.

“First thing I assume Americans are going to say is, ‘Boy if I’d have known it was made in America, I want to buy that,'” Scott said.

The PRIME Act will also require app sellers to disclose the countries where the developer, publisher and parent corporation are based.

“Many products come from China,” consumer advocate Ed Mierzwinski with the Public Interest Research Group said. “They’re not labeled at all.”

He says most consumers have no idea where their products come from or how much data some apps can mine.

“The biggest questions you should ask about your apps are what information is your app collecting and where is it sending it,” Mierzwinski said.

He says it’s less about where the data is going and more about why it’s going there.

“Regardless of whether it’s going to Russia or to Silicon Valley to some developer in the United States, they’re collecting too much information,” he said.

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