California Passes Landmark Digital Privacy Law

California Passes Landmark Digital Privacy Law

October 8, 2015

The new, comprehensive law protects digital privacy, including location data, content, email, metadata and even device searches. It requires a warrant for searching digital records or other device data, and is being described as a “landmark” piece of legislation in digital privacy.

More specifically, the California Electric Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) “bars any state law enforcement agency or other investigative entity from compelling a business to turn over any metadata or digital communications – including emails, texts, documents stored in the cloud – without a warrant. It also requires a warrant to track the location of electronic devices like mobile phones, or to search them.” Source: Wired

The ACLU has praised the legislation, and it’s being touted by many as the best piece of U.S. Privacy legislation in existence. This legislation represents a positive step in online privacy rights, and sets a precedent for digital privacy laws going forward. As stated in Wired by one of the Senators who authored the bill: “For too long, California’s digital privacy laws have been stuck in the Dark Ages, leaving our personal emails, text messages, photos and smartphones increasingly vulnerable to warrantless searches,” said Senator Mark Leno in a statement. “That era is over.”

We’re hoping this law will serve as a model for other states, and similar online privacy legislation will follow. California’s law is consistent with many of the issues that we strongly support and advocate for here at Golden Frog, and we are very much encouraged the law’s passing.

Learn more about Golden Frog’s vision for a free and open Internet.

Learn more about the power of passing legislation at the state level.

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