Our 2017-2018 legislative agenda is inspired by the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Rights in our Massachusetts Constitution. Through state legislative advocacy, we aim to defend and extend key constitutional principles, including privacy, equality, democracy, and justice for all. The ACLU supports the following privacy bills currently before the Massachusetts legislature.
Electronic Privacy Act
Sen. Spilka (SD1175) | Rep. Peake (HD2870)
Update legal protections from searches and seizures to make sure they keep pace with technology. Require a warrant for the government to access information about your private phone and internet use.
Fundamental Freedoms Act
Sen. Chandler (SD992) | Rep. Kaufman (HD1156)
Protect Massachusetts residents from two kinds of anti-democratic government monitoring: (1) Bar state participation in any discriminatory “registration” system based on religion, national origin, or other protected identity; and (2) Prevent government collection of information about residents’ protected First Amendment activity—speech, association, and religion—without reasonable suspicion that they are involved in a crime.
License Plate Privacy Act
Sen. Creem (SD172) | Rep. Hecht (HD1377)
License Plate Readers (LPRs) scan thousands of license plates daily and store information indefinitely about where and when you drive. These proposals would protect innocent people from limitless government tracking of their driving and from private misuse of their LPR data.
Social Media Privacy Act
Sen. Creem (SD187) | Rep. Gordon (HD1649)
Would prohibit employers and educational institutions from demanding access to private social media accounts as a condition of employment or learning opportunities. Private communications deserve the same protections online and offline.
Student Privacy Act
Sen. Jehlen (SD1582) | Rep. Dykema (HD2439)
Would protect students’ cell phones or other personal electronic devices from being searched by school staff without reasonable suspicion that the device contains evidence of a violation of the school’s code of conduct.
Biometric Data Security
Sen. Barrett (SD750) | Rep. Mariano (HD2696)
Would expand existing safeguards for personal information held by corporations and government agencies to include unique biometric identifiers (for example, fingerprints used to log on to a computer or for the new “Apple Pay” service).