Senator Al Franken has been pushing for new legislation to protect users when it comes to location data on mobile devices, and today his Location Privacy Protection Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. As reported by The Hill, the bill would force companies to gain approval from users before collecting or sharing location data. Many companies already do this voluntarily, but the bill — if turned into law — would make it mandatory. It would also ban mobile "stalking" applications that can secretly monitor the location of a user.

Both Republican and Democratic Senators are said to have voiced concerns about the nuances of the bill, but pledged to work with Franken to improve the legislation. While moving out of the Judiciary Committee is undoubtedly an important step, the bill still has a long way to go. With the year rapidly coming to a close, Franken will reportedly attempt to push the legislation along further in 2013 during the next session of Congress.