Scanlon Joins Herrera Beutler and Bipartisan Group of Congressional Members to Introduce Legislation Requiring Government Agencies to Obtain Warrants Before Accessing Americans’ Geolocation Data
Washington, June 8, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) announced the introduction of the No Trace Act, legislation which would prevent government agencies from accessing an American’s geolocation information without first obtaining a warrant. The bipartisan bill is co-led by U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Victoria Spartz (IN-05).
Reporting (available here, here, and here) has revealed federal agencies purchased Americans’ geolocation data to pinpoint their mobile device locations, and have done so without first obtaining a warrant. This type of overreach violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
“I'm proud to join my colleagues in leading this effort to protect Americans' constitutional right to privacy,” said Rep. Scanlon. “Given the ever-changing nature of technology, Congress must ensure that our laws are updated to prevent sensitive information like geolocation data from being shared with law enforcement agencies without due process. I look forward to working with the No Trace Act's bipartisan co-leads to advance this important legislation.”
“The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment enshrines Americans’ right to privacy, and with rapid advances in technology over the years, we should update our laws accordingly. I’m introducing the bipartisan No Trace Act in Congress to stop federal agencies from accessing law-abiding Americans’ sensitive information, like geolocation data from a phone or an app, without first obtaining a warrant. I take seriously my duty as the people’s representative to the federal government, which means ensuring government’s priority is to always serve and protect citizens,” Rep. Herrera Beutler said.
“As technology improves, so must our laws. The No Trace Act protects Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights by updating our laws to ensure federal law enforcement agencies secure the correct warrants when trying to access someone's location from an app or personal device. This is a critical improvement to our laws that protects the privacy and security of individuals. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this commonsense and bipartisan legislation,” added Rep. Correa.