California Assembly Passes Digital Privacy Bill

The California state assembly has passed a digital privacy bill. If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the new bill will supposedly prevent state and local government access without warrant to private electronic communications. Since it is to be a state law, it probably will not affect warrantless spying by federal government agencies. The bill would provide some exceptions for law enforcement in emergencies or for other public safety requirements.

The bill, which would require a judge’s approval for access to a person’s private information, including data from personal electronic devices, email, digital documents, text messages and location information, had been passed in June by the state senate and will now return there for concurrence before heading to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval.

Texas, Virginia, Maine, and Utah already have privacy laws that require judicial oversight, including a warrant, for access to sensitive digital information of personal information.

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