PRIVACY: Prohibit Unwarranted Access to Electronic Communications and Location Information (SB 640)

Electronic communication – through email, cell phones and social media – has increasingly eclipsed postal mail and other hard-copy methods as our primary means of communication. Unfortunately, some government agencies interpret our outdated privacy laws to allow them to intercept and access a treasure trove of information about who you are, where you go, and what you do – the information being collected by search engines, social networking sites, and other websites every day.

Similarly, location tracking information – GPS records, cell phone location records, etc. – can reveal very sensitive information about your life. Location tracking records reveal a tremendous amount of detailed personal information about people ranging from which friends they are seeing to where they go to the doctor to how often they go to church.

We believe that the constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures should protect your information held by third parties – such as internet service providers and phone companies – unless the government has probable cause of wrongdoing and gets a court order.

Waiting for the courts to enforce the constitution relating to newer technologies could take many years and may not be successful. Our proposed legislation will reboot our privacy laws to ensure that online and digital activity, including sensitive location tracking records, receive the same protection as is guaranteed to offline activity.