Press Releases

Herrera Beutler Introduces Legislation to Force Government to Follow Due Process before Accessing Americans’ Geolocation Data

Bipartisan No Trace Act would require government agencies to obtain warrants before accessing citizens’ personal data

f t # e
Washington, June 8, 2021 | comments

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) has introduced the No Trace Act, legislation that would prevent government agencies from accessing an American’s geolocation information without first obtaining a warrant. The bill is co-led by U.S. Reps. Lou Correa (CA-46), Victoria Spartz (IN-05), and Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05).

Recent reports (here, here, and here) have revealed federal agencies have been purchasing Americans’ geolocation data to pinpoint their mobile device locations, and doing so without first obtaining a warrant. This type of overreach violates the Constitution’s 4th amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The Constitution’s 4th Amendment enshrines American’s 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,” Herrera Beutler said.

"As technology improves, so must our laws. The "No Trace Act" protects Americans' 4th 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,” Correa said.

“I'm proud to join my colleagues in leading this effort to protect Americans' constitutional right to privacy. 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,” Scanlon said.

f t # e