Herrera Beutler introduces bill requiring search warrant for geolocation data


U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is pushing for legislation that would require government agencies to obtain a search warrant to access data to pinpoint a citizen’s location through mobile devices.

On June 4, Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, introduced H.R. 3707, or the “No Trace Act,” which would prohibit agencies from accessing geolocation data without a warrant. The legislation follows reports that federal agencies had purchased that data to find citizens’ locations, which violated Fourth Amendment protections on unreasonable search and seizures, stated a release from Herrera Beutler’s office announcing the bill.

In the release, Herrera Beutler said the Fourth Amendment “enshrines” U.S. citizens’ right to privacy, “and with rapid advances in technology over the years, we should update our laws accordingly.”

“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.

Also joining Herrera Beutler in supporting the bill are Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz, of Indiana, and Democratic Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon, of Pennsylvania, and Lou Correa, of California.

“As technology improves, so must our laws,” Correa said in the release, adding the bill would update federal law so it’s in line with Constitutional protections. “This is a critical improvement to our laws that protects the privacy and security of individuals.”

The bill has been forwarded to the House Judiciary Committee.