Press release from Indiana State Representative Eric Koch:
– A bill that would allow Hoosiers to enjoy greater privacy protections, authored by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford), passed out of the House today by a vote of 85-11. House Bill (HB) 1009, the Indiana Privacy Protection Act, would prohibit warrantless searches of electronic communications, user data and geolocation information, put limits upon use of tracking devices, surveillance cameras and drones and prohibit warrantless searches using these technologies. Exceptions would be permitted for legitimate uses of these technologies and exigent circumstances.
“This bill balances privacy and security in the Digital Age,” said Rep. Koch. “I am pleased that it has progressed through the House, and I have appreciated the engagement and cooperation of state agencies – including the Indiana State Police – and the Administration in this effort, particularly in helping us avoid unintended consequences that could be detrimental to public safety.
“Today, smart phones have replaced diaries. Computers have replaced file drawers. Drones can replace stakeouts. Cell phones are replacing landlines. Miniature cameras and tracking devices can be used to secretly record images and location. And almost any form of data can be secretly captured, quickly stored, and easily searched and cross-referenced … literally forever. So, how do we respect and protect the generally accepted expectations of privacy held by society, while at the same time allowing government agencies, private businesses and our fellow citizens to use digital technology for the common good … and in some cases, our own safety? How do we take the spirit and intent of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and apply them to circumstances never dreamed of by the Founders?
“Our challenge was to define those conditions and circumstances under which use of certain technologies should be allowed, prohibited or subject to Court approval. While comprehensive, this bill is not the end, but really the beginning. As technology continues to evolve – faster than the law – new issues will emerge. But, today, we provide a framework within which those issues can be considered; guidelines for law enforcement so that they can do their job; and peace of mind for all Hoosiers that common and reasonable expectations of privacy are still guaranteed in our state.”
HB 1009 is co-authored by Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) The bill will now be heard in the Senate. To track this bill’s progress, visit http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2014/bills/house/1009.