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Digital privacy legislation awaits action by Pence

March 5, 2014

The Indiana House has sent the governor legislation that’s meant to protect the privacy of Hoosiers even as digital surveillance becomes easier and more sophisticated.

House Bill 1009 requires police to obtain a search warrant before using a phone to track a person’s location or using an unmanned device – such as a drone – to gather information in most situations.

It also requires police to get a warrant before officers can demand that a person turn over his or her password for a computer, phone or other electronics device.

One of the bill’s coauthors, Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said the legislature has a role in developing policies that go farther to protect Hoosiers’ rights than even the state or federal Constitution would provide.

“Even if it’s allowed under our constitution, it still may be a policy we don’t want in place,” Pierce said.

HB 1009 also calls for a summer study committee in which lawmakers would consider other issues related to digital privacy.

The bill passed 83-6. It has already passed the Senate.

Gov. Mike Pence can now sign the bill into law, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

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