California Advances Location Privacy Act
California's state legislature this week passed a new law that would require a warrant for police to track citizens' locations via cell phone networks and the GPS built-in to most current cell phones. Many law enforcement agencies do not consistently obtain warrants for such data, and most cell phones companies do not require warrants. The EFF and ACLU of California both helped push the bill, which won broad support from both parties in the state. It is unclear if Governor Jerry Brown will sign or veto the bill.
California to Require Warrants for Stingrays
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that prohibits the government from snooping on citizens' electronic communications without first obtaining a warrant. The law, called the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, forbids the government from "accessing electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device." For example, police will no longer be able to use stingrays unless they get permission from a judge to do so.
California Reverses Course, Passes Kill Switch Law
The California State Senate today reconsidered a bill it struck down last month, which would require cell phone makers to install kill switches, and passed the bill by a wide margin. The idea behind the law is to make sure all users have the ability to protect their personal data.
Supreme Court Says Police Must Get Warrant to Search Phones
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that police must obtain a warrant before they can search the cell phones of people they arrest.
Warrant Required for Stingray Use in Washington
Washington Governor Jay Inslee today signed a bill mandating that law enforcement obtain a warrant before using stingray devices within the state's borders. The law, which goes into effect immediately, is one of the strongest in the country as it requires police to describe how the stingray will be used to collect data.
Feds to Require Warrants for Cellphone Trackers
The Justice Department has issued new policy concerning the use of Stingrays to collect cellphone data and will require warrants moving forward. Stingrays, also called dirtboxes, mimic cell towers and can record the data of every cell phone they encounter.