Herrera Beutler Introduces Bill Requiring Search Warrant for Geolocation Data


U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is pushing for legislation that would require government agencies to obtain a search warrant to access data to pinpoint a citizen’s location through mobile devices.

On June 4, Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, introduced H.R. 3707, or the “No Trace Act,” which would prohibit agencies from accessing geolocation data without a warrant. The legislation follows reports that federal agencies had purchased that data to find citizens’ locations, which violated Fourth Amendment protections on unreasonable search and seizures, stated a release from Herrera Beutler’s office announcing the bill.

In the release, Herrera Beutler said the Fourth Amendment “enshrines” U.S. citizens’ right to privacy, “and with rapid advances in technology over the years, we should update our laws accordingly.” 

“I take seriously my duty as the people’s representative to the federal government, which means ensuring government’s priority is to always serve and protect citizens,” Herrera Beutler said.

Also joining Herrera Beutler in supporting the bill are Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz, of Indiana, and Democratic Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon, of Pennsylvania, and Lou Correa, of California.

"As technology improves, so must our laws,” Correa said in the release, adding the bill would update federal law so it’s in line with Constitutional protections. “This is a critical improvement to our laws that protects the privacy and security of individuals.”

The bill has been forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee.


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Frosted Flake


"The legislation follows reports that federal agencies had purchased that data to find citizens’ locations..."

I agree with the Representative, as far as she goes. But there is so much more to do here. And we are here, now, So let's clean up the whole mess and not have to come back. Where did the information come from and shouldn't that be illegal too? What gives anyone the right to someoen elses geodata? And the right to trade that data? Let's look too at the idea 7-Eleven or the Bank can can use facial recocnition software on people in their business. Whence comes the right? And the thought any kid or gangbanger could take your photo and have all your personal news is not the kind of World I wanrt to live in.

Where exactly is the line? I think the police should have to ask a Judge to use facial recognition software to match a particular suspect to a particular photo or video. And I doubt anyone else should have access to the software at all. Most particularly not, ...ROBOTS. Because then we will have advertising drones flying around shilling folks by name.

Friday, June 11