The ACLU of Oregon often takes positions on state, city, and county proposals that would have an impact on civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU is strictly non-partisan; we never support or oppose candidates for elective office.
We had great success with Oregon legislators in 2013 on key privacy measures – one to guard against privacy invasion by law enforcement use of drones and the other to protect employees’ and university students’ digital privacy from unwarranted online snooping. We will continue to advance this agenda this session with a package of bills to curb mass surveillance.
Law enforcement agencies deploy license plate reader surveillance technology in Oregon without adequate or consistent privacy restrictions. Many agencies retain the location information and photograph of every vehicle that crosses the camera’s path, not simply those that are associated with a criminal nexus.
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 Unfortunately, some government agencies interpret our outdated privacy laws to allow them to intercept and access a treasure trove of information about who you are, where you go, and what you do – the information being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.
The type of data stored on a smartphone can paint a near-complete picture of even the most private details of your personal life. Before the age of smartphones and other portable electronic devices, it was impossible for police to gather this much private information about your communications, historical movements, and private life during an arrest.