Landmark California Location-Privacy Bill Nears Governor’s Desk
California lawmakers have approved legislation that would require the state’s authorities to get a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge to obtain location information from electronic devices such as tablets, mobile phones to laptops.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), passed the Senate in May and the Assembly approved the plan late Wednesday.
The Assembly added in language that, if there is insufficient time to obtain a warrant due to a threat of serious danger or bodily harm — for example in the case of a missing child — no warrant is required.
Procedurally, the bill must again be approved by the Senate to work out those wording changes, which is expected to happen as early as this week or next.
Still, the bill, SB 1434, faces an uncertain future.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, vetoed last year a measure requiring police officers to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s cellphone after being arrested. Brown’s office hasn’t made any official announcement about where he stands on the bill.