Privacy Bill For Cellphones and License Plate Use by Police

Mar 7, 2014

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. Christopher Shank says government agencies can learn a great deal about people by just tracking their movements via their cellphones and license plates. He says Maryland needs stricter privacy protections to keep pace with new surveillance technology.

Shank, R-Washington, presented to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday two bills that would put new surveillance restrictions on the government. Parallel bills are pending in the House.

A cellphone can track all of a user's movement with a Global Positioning System. Under Shank's bill, police would need a search warrant to get this information from cellphone companies. Current law only requires a grand jury subpoena.

Shank's other bill would limit police use of cameras that record license plate numbers, and would require police to destroy plate data after 30 days.