A few years ago, with the legislature’s help, we passed the nation’s strongest privacy law to ensure that your digital data is protected by the need for law enforcement to obtain a warrant before accessing it.
However, this law provided a number of judicially recognized exceptions to the need for a warrant.
For example, if officers are chasing someone into a home, they don’t have to stop and get a warrant to enter that home. This is called a “hot pursuit” exception.
Another noteworthy exception is the “vehicle exception.” The courts have determined that if you are driving on a road, you don’t have the same expectation of privacy as you do in your home.
The problem is, as it pertains to your phone, it is collecting and storing your digital information at all times. The same is true of newer car models that are connected to WiFi, cloud storage, and so on. These cars are collecting and storing your digital data, most notably your location data.
Senate Bill 226, sponsored by Sen. Weiler, locks this down to ensure that your digital data that’s inside your car or cell phone is protected by the need to obtain a warrant before law enforcement agencies can access it.