Blog of Rights

Status of Location Privacy Legislation in the States

Status of Location Privacy Legislation in the States

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 12:00am

In the wake of the NSA revelations, there has been an avalanche of state bills requiring law enforcement to obtain a probable cause warrant before tracking an individual’s location in an investigation. Most state legislators know they can’t control the NSA—but they can control their state and local law enforcement, which are engaging in some of the same invasive practices. The trend actually started in the wake of the ACLU’s nationwide public records requests on location tracking and the 2012 U.S. v. Jones decision, when Montana and Maine enacted the first two location tracking laws in the country—the recent revelations have simply increased the momentum.

Working closely with our lobbyists in state capitols around the country, we’ve been tracking this activity and working hard to make sure these privacy-protective bills become law. The chart below shows the current status of state legislation as we understand it. We will keep this chart up-to-date as we receive new information.

Silhouette of Albuquerque police officer at night

Police Body Cameras: The Lessons of Albuquerque

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:25am

Police body-worn cameras are a subject about which many people have differing intuitions. Some activists tell us they worry we are mistaken in conditionally supporting the technology; that it will become a tool for increasingly police power, but not…

CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

CISA Isn't About Cybersecurity, It's About Surveillance

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:25am

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. But sometimes that's the easy part.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it seems everyone in Washington admits we have a problem. It's in the solutions phase where things really start to…

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California & Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:32pm

The federal government will have to produce information on a vast and secret domestic surveillance program and defend the program's legality in open court. That's the result of a decision issued Friday by the federal judge presiding over our lawsuit…

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:56am

A few weeks ago, a U.N. Special Rapporteur solicited comments for a report on the relationship between free expression and the use of encryption and anonymity online. The report that he is writing will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June…

Congress Lines Up 3 Bills to Protect Our Emails From Unwarranted Government Intrusion

Congress Lines Up 3 Bills to Protect Our Emails From Unwarranted Government Intrusion

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 10:11am

This blog was originally posted on privacysos.org​

Bipartisan legislation introduced this week in congress by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) would require police and federal law enforcement to…

Supply-demand graphic by MIT OpenCourseWare

A Supply-Demand Curve for Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:15am

I recently wrote about some polling that Pew did on privacy, and its finding that Americans have very low confidence in the privacy and security of electronic communications channels. People feel more or less communicating on landline telephones, for…

Image of car with lights at night

Lessons of the Uber Privacy Scandal

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:12pm

Taxi-on-demand service Uber ran into hot water last week over reports that company executives have played fast and loose with some of the location data that the service records about its customers. A couple of thoughts about the scandal:

First,…

Photo of New Orleans skyline

Louisiana Blocks Ebola Scientists From Meeting in New Orleans in Latest Counterproductive Over-Reaction

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:30am

The state of Louisiana has informed the organizers of a scientific conference that Ebola researchers who have recently returned from West Africa would not be permitted to travel to New Orleans for the conference—and would be quarantined if they showed…

The Police's Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

The Police's Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:07pm

This piece originally appeared at Slate's Jurisprudence, under the title, "Search Party."

It used to be that when police violated a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights through an unconstitutional search, evidence derived from the search would…