STATEHOUSE – Hoosiers would enjoy greater privacy protections under a bill filed by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford). The bill would prohibit warrantless searches of electronic communications, user data and geolocation information, put limits upon use of tracking devices, surveillance cameras and drones and prohibit warrantless searches using these technologies. Exceptions would be permitted for legitimate uses of these technologies and exigent circumstances.
“I have been working on this issue for a couple of years and have drawn from legislation considered in other states that has been vetted by both law enforcement and privacy advocates,” said Rep. Koch. “Because technology has moved so much faster than the law, we need to define new lines of Fourth Amendment protections. My goal is to balance legitimate law enforcement interests with generally accepted expectations of privacy.”
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
“Requiring a warrant to be issued by a judge upon sworn probable cause before a search and seizure is a bedrock of our freedoms,” said Rep. Koch. “These constitutional protections are not waived by use of a cell phone or email.”
Rep. Koch represents portions of Brown, Lawrence, Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.