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Digital data gets safer: One state tackles warrantless searches

Digital data gets safer: One state tackles warrantless searches
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If you're concerned about the privacy of your digital data, you might want to consider a move to California. It's not the first state in the nation to enact a law protecting your data, but its new law is the most protective, according to security experts.

Law enforcement can no longer get consumers' digital data without a warrant in the Golden State. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act into law on Thursday.

The digital privacy bill was sponsored by two state senators, a Democrat and a Republican. Those senators reported that authorities asked AT&T for location information on customers more than 64,000 times in 2014, while Verizon received 15,000 demands in the first half of the same year. Only a third of those requests were accompanied by a warrant.

There are exceptions with the new law. If law enforcement believes a device is lost or stolen, they can get information from it to find and contact the owner. And if someone is in danger of serious physical injury or death, and information from an electronic device can help, they can search it.

Digital privacy advocates praised the new law, and called it a model for the rest of the nation. What do you think? Does the government have too much access to our digital data without laws like this? Let us know in the comments below, and check back often to our Happening Now page for the latest news on everything digital.

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