Laura Richter writes:
State Representative Jason Lewis has filed legislation to protect Massachusetts residents’ privacy, personal data, and First Amendment rights in the context of government data collection. The bill would prohibit law enforcement from collecting information about individuals’ political and religious views, associations, or activities without reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct.
The bill, known as An Act to Protect Privacy and Personal Data, has been introduced to provide important safeguards in response to the proliferation of massive data-banking operations, funded by the federal government, that collect and store a vast array of information about ordinary Americans. Two of these so-called “fusion centers” are located in Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has explicitly stated that it is up to individual states to provide appropriate privacy protections for these operations.
The ACLU of Massachusetts is supporting the bill.