Bill would ensure citizens’ privacy in the use
of their cell phones and home-use devices
Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) today filed SB 1256, which protects citizens’ expectation of privacy in the use of their cell phones and microphone-enabled household devices, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, by requiring that law enforcement obtain a warrant in order to search communications and location data contained in these devices.
“As technology continues to become more integrated in our daily lives, it is critical that the law recognize that electronic devices are the modern day equivalent of papers and effects, falling under the protections of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution,” stated Senator Brandes. “It is my hope that this collaborative effort will accomplish my goal of bringing us into this day and age technologically without compromising law enforcement’s ability to provide public safety.”
Senator Brandes sought advice from industry experts and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement prior to filing the bill to ensure that privacy is maintained and to provide clarity as to how law enforcement may access these devices.
SB 1256 makes clear that collection by law enforcement of an individual’s location, a cell phone, or a home enabled device, without the consent of the person or owner of the devices, should be allowed only when authorized by a warrant, unless certain exigent circumstances exist.
For more information on SB 1256, please visit flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2018/01256.