Update: June 3, 2013 - Governor Kitzhaber signed HB 2654 into law on May 22, 2013. Today, the House took final action on the companion bill to HB 2654, SB 344, which protects privacy of social media accounts for students and applicants to Oregon institutions of higher education. SB 344 heads to the Governor for signature.
May 16, 2013 - Today the Oregon Legislature took final action on HB 2654, sending the bill to the Governor with strong bipartisan support. The Legislature’s approval of this bill signals to Oregonians that policy makers value online privacy and that we should not have to give up our rights to privacy as many of our social interactions move online.
HB 2654 takes a stand against practices we have seen in other states where a growing number of employers are demanding that job applicants and employees hand over the passwords to their private social networking accounts such as Facebook. Such demands constitute a clear invasion of privacy. Private activities that would never be intruded upon offline should not receive less privacy protection simply because they take place online.
The ACLU of Oregon strongly opposes SB 470, a proposal to expand the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
Update: March 21, 2013 - Passed the Senate (22-8), referred to the House Health Care Committee on March 27.
March 12, 2013 - The Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was passed in 2009 over ACLU’s strong objection. The ACLU has always believed that information we provide in exchange for a specific purpose, service or benefit should only be used for that purpose unless we consent to an additional use of our personal information. Any data collected, maintained and stored by the government, especially data about our private medical history should be as secure as possible and access to the data strictly limited. SB 470 would expand the PDMP in some significant ways, as it would collect more information about patients and disclose private records to more people. For more information about the bill, read the ACLU of Oregon's testimony opposing SB 470.
UPDATE: July 25, 2012 - After first adopting an amendment from Commissioner Amanda Fritz to require the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to report back to Council on an annual basis about their use of Automatic License Plate Recognition cameras (ALPR), the Portland City Council this morning approved PPB’s request to add a new SUV to their fleet with an ALPR.
UPDATE - June 6, 2012 - After a second reading and with no discussion, today the City Council approved the proposal relating to surveillance cameras. Commissioner Fritz voted no on the proposal, citing concerns that unless the rest of the Council would join her in adopting an amendment to the proposal that would require annual reporting on the use of surveillance cameras by the Portland Police, she could not support their increased use. We continue to advocate for the Portland Police Bureau to revise their video surveillance policy in accordance with our comments.
Representative Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) is a champion in the legislature of government efficiency. As Vice-Chair of the Joint Ways & Means Committee, which writes the state budget, the representative is constantly looking for ways to streamline government’s work to save the state money. To that end, she introduced HB 4091 to require the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to convene a workgroup to examine and develop recommendations around how the state can improve its systems for performing criminal background checks.
HB 4084 came to the 2012 legislature as the product of the Elder Abuse Work Group that had met during the interim to discuss issues of crimes against elderly Oregonians and how we might amend the law to better protect this population. While many interests were well represented in the Work Group, including long-term care providers, law enforcement, community banks, and the state agency for human services, the group developed its recommendations without consideration of either a criminal defense or a privacy rights perspective. The result was a bill that significantly compromised the rights of Oregonians in both areas.
Citing data about the importance of early detection of HIV and the burden of the required informed consent process before testing, a couple of resident physicians from Portland brought forth this bill with the intent to remove barriers to testing.
This session, because of the evenly divided House, it was easier to stop than to pass a bill. The ACLU nevertheless spearheaded the passage of SB 731, culminating a ten-year effort to bring added protection to the criminal justice system regarding the preservation and use of evidence containing biological material (DNA) to prove innocence.
The ACLU proposed SB 266, which would have provided consumer privacy protections if Oregon implements toll collection for roadways. We believe it is important that prior to use of toll collection in Oregon sufficient privacy protections for consumers be put in place. These protections include allowing a person to travel on a toll road anonymously (allowing for some means of cash payment), restricting the use of any personal information collected for any other purpose other than toll collection and requiring the government to provide sufficient information to consumers about their privacy protection options and rights.
A constitutional amendment to weaken our search and seizure provision (Article I, section 9) of the Oregon Constitution was introduced for the third session in a row.HJR 25 would have amended the constitution to authorize law enforcement to use roadblocks to stop and question individuals to detect drunk drivers without any individualized suspicion of wrongdoing.
In 2009, the ACLU successfully sponsored legislation (HB 2371) that restricts the swiping of the barcode on Oregon Driver Licenses (ODL) through an electronic reader. The barcodes contain significant personal information, including name, date of birth (DOB), address, height, weight, gender, driver license number, driving restrictions and donor status.
This session, like last session, saw the introduction of a proposal to allow the collection of DNA from those arrested. SB 881, at the behest of Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem), would have required local law enforcement to collect a DNA sample of individuals arrested for any felony crimes committed against another person, all sex crimes and burglary in the first degree. SB 881 would have authorized the collection of biological evidence from individuals prior to any determination of guilt and without the requisite court order after a showing of probable cause.
Introduced by Rep. Barker (D-Aloha), HB 3085 expands the requirement by health care providers to notify law enforcement of the results of a blood test performed in the course of treatment if the blood contains a controlled substance and the person is believed to have been the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident.
ACLU arranged for the introduction of SB 536, with 27 bipartisan co-sponsors, including the chief sponsor, Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Mount Hood), Chair of the Senate Business and Transportation Committee. SB 536 prohibits Oregon from expending any additional funds to implement the federal Real ID Act until there are sufficient federal funds and adequate privacy protections are put in place.
For the third time in as many sessions, the Board of Pharmacy introduced legislation, SB 355, to allow the state to create a statewide database to monitor the lawful prescriptions of controlled substance schedules II, III or IV issued to patients in Oregon. The database would cover all codeine-based products, most prescription pain medications and other prescription drugs such as Ambien, Ritalin and Xanax, prescribed to thousands of Oregonians, including children. Proponents expect the database will track more than five million Oregon prescriptions annually.
ACLU arranged for the introduction of HB 2371, which restricts businesses and government from swiping the barcode on the back of our Oregon driver licenses and state-issued identification cards. Electronic swiping of the barcode reveals almost all of the personal information contained on your license or ID card, including your name, address, date of birth, height, weight, gender, eye color, lens restrictions, donor status and license or ID card number.
SB 310 builds on Oregon’s DNA innocence law passed a few years ago allowing a person convicted of murder, a “person” felony or certain sex crimes to request testing of evidence for DNA that was obtained in the original criminal investigation. ACLU worked to pass what was a temporary law when it was first introduced in 2001 and led the effort in 2007 to make it a permanent part of Oregon law. That law establishes a procedure to request testing but does not address the question of retaining evidence so that it can be tested years later.
Beginning in the 1990s, the Oregon legislature began authorizing FBI fingerprint criminal history checks for school teachers. Over the years, this authority has expanded greatly to include most state agencies that grant licenses or hire employees in “sensitive” positions. In 2005, ACLU worked on omnibus legislation in this area (HB 2157). We supported certain provisions of that proposal because it included new uniform safeguards and due process protections for all persons subject to FBI background checks and maintained the requirement that the fingerprints be destroyed after the background check.
As we anticipated, a number of bills were introduced to allow employers to terminate an employee who is a medical marijuana cardholder without any evidence of actual impairment on the job. The ACLU opposed HB 2497, HB 2881 and HB 3052 (and had concerns about HB 2503) because in one form or another the bills included this type of power for employers.
New Rules Protect Death With Dignity and Medical Marijuana Acts
December 11, 2007 - As a result of ACLU of Oregon lobbying efforts with Portland Mayor Tom Potter, Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer has issued an executive order that specifically prohibits any police assistance with investigations or prosecutions for persons who are acting under the authority of Oregon’s Death with Dignity or Medical Marijuana acts.