Massachusetts may become the first state to ban the buying and selling of location data drawn from mobile devices, reflecting the state’s bold stance on privacy in the digital age. This sweeping proposal, the Location Shield Act, seeks not only to curb commercial exploitation but also to tighten law enforcement access to such data, stipulating a court warrant requirement.

Location data has evolved into a revealing digital fingerprint, capable of intruding on personal lives and even (potentially) implicating sensitive matters. As technology outpaces legislation, the traditional concept of privacy is continuously challenged. Our digital breadcrumbs, painstakingly collected and sold, draw an uncomfortably precise picture of our lives. Is the Massachusetts proposal a much-needed safeguard or an overcorrection?

The tech industry’s response leans toward the latter, suggesting a preference for consumers to opt-out of data sales rather than imposing a wholesale ban. Massachusetts’ move is a significant step in the realm of digital privacy, potentially setting the stage for national discourse on the matter. With privacy concerns at a fever pitch, such measures could signal a sea change in how we view and manage our digital identities.

How will we balance personal privacy and the sovereignty of our intellectual property (AI training and exploitation) with the realities of our digital world? Contact your elected officials today and tell them how you feel about data privacy, your privacy, and what you think a good solution to AI training and regulation might be.

If you don’t think you know enough to weigh in, sign up for our free online course, Generative AI for Execs. It covers data privacy from several different angles, and it will give you the facts you need to make your argument regardless of which side of the issue you choose.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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