Cell phone location data privacy protections would increase under a bill the Senate approved Tuesday.
The bill, authored by Reps. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, and Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, prohibits law enforcement officials from tracking the location of mobile devices without a warrant. The bill, passed in the Assembly last week, now heads to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.
“Our cell phone location data creates an intimate portrait of our lives. It can reveal whose house we visited, our place of worship, a doctor’s office visit and much more,” Sargent said in a statement. “This information should have a higher degree of protection under the law.”
Exceptions to the warrant requirement exist for life-or-death situations, or if individuals give permission for officials to track their location.
The bill also creates a process law enforcement can use to apply for and obtain such a warrant. The process will require a statement identifying the criminal case an individual may be involved in as well as probable cause for the involvement.
[Photo from Flickr user Yutaka Tsutano]