The Illinois Senate approved the legislation limiting law enforcement agencies’ access to “real time” location tracking data generated by the electronic devices that are now used daily by an ever growing majority of Americans. The ACLU of Illinois supports the bill and points out that in 2011, phone carriers received as many as 1.3 million demands for information about their subscribers, including location-tracking information. The bill, which now goes to the Illinois House, seeks to balance privacy issues with public safety needs. It allows police and other government agencies to obtain a tracking order, similar to a search warrant, based on probable cause of a crime. In an article at Evanston Now, the bill’s sponsor, Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), maintains that:

“Location tracking is just one of many technologies that have advanced rapidly beyond the capacity of existing state law to regulate their use by law enforcement. This legislation doesn’t hamstring law enforcement as they appropriately utilize these tools to carry out their mission of protecting the public, but it does affirm the constitutional protections that have always limited police activity and government surveillance.”


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