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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2014 03:37 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Pennsylvanians’ Privacy Act (Former HB1757)

In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation that would require law enforcement to obtain a search warrant to track an individual’s location based on their cell phone, social media and/or GPS devices.

Outdated laws on privacy and technology have created opportunities for law enforcement to pry into the lives of individuals without probable cause. Pennsylvanians should have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their cell phone location data.

Location data can provide an intimate picture of not just where we go but which doctors we visit, the religious services we choose to attend, the stores we frequent and who we affiliate ourselves with. Residents of this Commonwealth should not be deprived of their right to privacy when they join a cell phone plan provider or share their personal location information with close family members or friends on their social media devices.

My legislation sets boundaries for law enforcement without hindering their ability to protect civilians from possible threats and without sacrificing Pennsylvanians right to privacy. When probable cause for an investigation is established, a search warrant can be obtained and an investigation of the suspect initiated. This proposal would not require a warrant if a cell phone is reported stolen, when responding to a cell phone user’s emergency call, if the owner gives informed consent, or if a life-threatening situation exists.

My bill would protect law abiding Pennsylvanians from essentially being tracked and monitored without reason.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

Introduced as HB401