Photosynthesis » ACLU-VA Privacy Rights’s Portfolio

15 bills are being tracked.

Electronic devices; search without a warrant prohibited. (HB1274)

Patron: Del. Peter Farrell (R-Henrico)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill that imposes a warrant requirement on searches of cell phones and other electronic devices.

One person has commented on this bill »

Telecommunication records; warrant requirement, prohibition on collection by law enforcement. (HB1348)

Patron: Del. Betsy Carr (D-Richmond)
Status: incorporated

The ACLU of Virginia supports this legislation that would prohibit use of "stingrays" to gather real time cell phone data without a warrant.

One person has commented on this bill »

Telecommunication records; warrant requirement, prohibition on collection by law enforcement. (HB1408)

Patron: Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)
Status: signed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia supports this legislation that would prohibit use of "stingrays" to gather real time cell phone data without a warrant.

One person has commented on this bill »

Body-worn camera system; use by law enforcement. (HB1521)

Patron: Del. Joe Lindsey (R-Norfolk)
Status: failed committee

Police body cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse. But, while body cams have the potential to become a positive accountability mechanism, the ACLU of Virginia urges the General Assembly to ensure that the following policies are in place before these body cameras are purchased and deployed:
o Police wearing body cams should be required to inform people with whom they are interacting that they are being recorded, especially when entering a home, office, or other private space. And, residents should be able to request that the body camera be turned off when entering their home, unless it is an emergency situation or the officer has a warrant;
o The policy should be clear about when the body cams are to be turned on and off, and individual officers must not have discretion to turn them on and off at will;
o The policy should be clear about what happens to the video from the body cams, where it is stored, how long it is stored, and who has access to it (including ensuring consent from the individual(s) filmed before the content is made public and access to the video by the person filmed); and
o The law enforcement agency and public officials and citizens outside the agency should review the videos on an ongoing basis to determine whether the videos provide information that suggests that police are acting inappropriately or exhibiting bias. Action should be taken to address issues where they are identified, subject to proper procedural protections for the officers involved.
With these policies in place, police body cams can help (re)build trust between law enforcement and the community, reduce police liability, and provide the public with a tool to assure accountability.

There are 2 comments about this bill »

Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; limitation on collection. (HB1528)

Patron: Del. Mark Berg (R-Winchester)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia believes that current law prohibits passive collection of personal information by police but supports legislation, such as HB 1528, which would clarify the limitations on use of ALPR’s by government agencies in accordance with former Attorney General Cuccinelli’s February 2013 opinion that concluded that the “passive” use of ALPRs to create massive databases violates Virginia’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act. The ACLU of Virginia supports passage of legislation that would rein in the surveillance of Virginians not suspected of any criminal activity.

There are 2 comments about this bill »

Body-worn camera system; use by the Department of State Police. (HB1534)

Patron: Del. Mark Berg (R-Winchester)
Status: failed committee

Police body cameras have the potential to be a win-win, helping protect the public against police misconduct, and at the same time helping protect police against false accusations of abuse. But, while body cams have the potential to become a positive accountability mechanism, the ACLU of Virginia urges the General Assembly to ensure that the following policies are in place before these body cameras are purchased and deployed:
o Police wearing body cams should be required to inform people with whom they are interacting that they are being recorded, especially when entering a home, office, or other private space. And, residents should be able to request that the body camera be turned off when entering their home, unless it is an emergency situation or the officer has a warrant;
o The policy should be clear about when the body cams are to be turned on and off, and individual officers must not have discretion to turn them on and off at will;
o The policy should be clear about what happens to the video from the body cams, where it is stored, how long it is stored, and who has access to it (including ensuring consent from the individual(s) filmed before the content is made public and access to the video by the person filmed); and
o The law enforcement agency and public officials and citizens outside the agency should review the videos on an ongoing basis to determine whether the videos provide information that suggests that police are acting inappropriately or exhibiting bias. Action should be taken to address issues where they are identified, subject to proper procedural protections for the officers involved.
With these policies in place, police body cams can help (re)build trust between law enforcement and the community, reduce police liability, and provide the public with a tool to assure accountability.

Be the first to comment on this bill »

Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; limitation on collection. (HB1673)

Patron: Del. Rich Anderson (R-Woodbridge)
Status: vetoed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia believes that current law prohibits passive collection of personal information by police but supports legislation, such as HB 1673, which would clarify the limitations on use of ALPR’s by government agencies in accordance with former Attorney General Cuccinelli’s February 2013 opinion that concluded that the “passive” use of ALPRs to create massive databases violates Virginia’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act. The ACLU of Virginia supports passage of legislation that would rein in the surveillance of Virginians not suspected of any criminal activity, but opposes allowing maintenance of data from ALPR's not related to an active criminal investigation for longer than 24 hours.

One person has commented on this bill »

Drone aircraft; limitations on use, penalties. (HB2077)

Patron: Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports this legislation that regulates the use of drones by government agencies. The legislation requires a search warrant for drone use by law or regulatory enforcement agencies and establishes reporting requirements so that the public is aware of the uses being made of drones. The bill also requires approval to purchase drones from the legislature or local governing bodies as appropriate. The bill also makes it a crime for any person to operate a weaponized drone in the Commonwealth.

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Use of unmanned aircraft systems; search warrant required. (HB2125)

Patron: Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst)
Status: signed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports this bill that imposes a warrant requirement on the use of drones by law enforcement and regulatory agencies and prohibits the introduction of evidence obtained without a warrant in any criminal or civil proceeding. The bill also prohibits deployment of weaponized drones by governmental agencies.

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Detention and removal of U.S. citizen from State; SPS shall request notification within 24 hours. (HB2144)

Patron: Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports this legislation.

One person has commented on this bill »

Photo-monitoring systems; for traffic light enforcement. (HB2163)

Patron: Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports repeal of the state statute authorizing the use of photo-monitoring systems for traffic enforcement. Data available now shows that these programs, compared to extended yellow lights, do not actually make us safer. A Federal Highway Administration study showed that, although red-light cameras decrease side-impact collisions by 25 percent, they cause a 15 percent increase in the number of rear-impact crashes. There are also constitutional due process concerns about the use of this technology. Use of the cameras to record traffic infractions require you to prove that you are innocent. That is not the usual constitutional requirement. Moreover, the systems in place make it difficult for most drivers to effectively challenge the tickets in court. Sometimes these systems don’t send out tickets for weeks. The driver may not be able to remember, much less prove, where he/she was four weeks ago. There are also privacy concerns regarding the collection and use of information from these cameras for dragnet surveillance. As is the case will all of the new technologies, whether red-light cameras, drones or license plate readers, the greatest concern is not knowing how the pictures and data collected will be used beyond the initial reason given. In this case, the greatest rationale for continuing to use these cameras is the revenue streams that they are producing for localities and the possible use of the data for purposes other than traffic enforcement and safety.

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Constitutional amendment; general warrants of search or seizure prohibited. (HJ578)

Patron: Del. Rich Anderson (R-Woodbridge)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HJ 578 which would create a 21st century Fourth Amendment for the Commonwealth. It would require a probable cause warrant for surveillance of communications content and “metadata,” prohibit dragnet surveillance, and narrow the “third-party doctrine.” The ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that would place checks on the ability of the government to gather data and surveil law abiding Virginians. The Constitution of Virginia does not explicitly protect the privacy of Virginians. And, although Virginia courts have interpreted the Constitution of Virginia to provide the same protections as the Fourth Amendment, the reality is that Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has not caught up with modern technology, putting every Virginian’s privacy at risk.

One person has commented on this bill »

Leesburg, Town of; amending charter, unmanned aerial vehicles, preservation of trees. (SB751)

Patron: Sen. Dick Black (R-Leesburg)
Status: stricken

The ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that allows local governments to regulate the use of drones.

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Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; limitation on collection. (SB965)

Patron: Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax)
Status: vetoed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia believes that current law prohibits passive collection of personal information by police but supports legislation, such as HB 1528, which would clarify the limitations on use of ALPR’s by government agencies in accordance with former Attorney General Cuccinelli’s February 2013 opinion that concluded that the “passive” use of ALPRs to create massive databases violates Virginia’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act. The ACLU of Virginia supports passage of legislation that would rein in the surveillance of Virginians not suspected of any criminal activity.

Be the first to comment on this bill »

Unmanned aircraft systems; use by public bodies during execution of a search warrant, exception. (SB1301)

Patron: Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond)
Status: signed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports this legislation that regulates the use of drones by government agencies. The legislation requires a search warrant for drone use by law or regulatory enforcement agencies and establishes reporting requirements so that the public is aware of the uses being made of drones. The bill also requires approval to purchase drones from the legislature or local governing bodies as appropriate. The bill also makes it a crime for any person to operate a weaponized drone in the Commonwealth.

Be the first to comment on this bill »