Privacy Legislation

SB 5 – Cellular Location Tracking (2013-2014)

Link to Bill:

Read our May 14, 2013 interested party testimony to the House Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Committee on Senate Bill 5.

Read our 2/26/2014 testimony to the Ohio House Judiciary Committee in support of Amended Substitute Senate Bill 5

This bill requires wireless service providers to produce information on the geographical location of a wireless device to law enforcement in emergencies. Emergencies only cover circumstances in which an officer or agency is responding to a call for emergency service or when danger of death or serious injury requires disclosure.

Amended in the House, SB 5 also sets new requirements for law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before requesting cell phone location information in non-emergency situations.

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Judiciary (H), Public Safety / Local Government / Veterans Affairs (S), Transportation / Public Safety / Homeland Security (H)
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Our take on this bill:

As introduced, SB 5 contained no fundamental civil liberties concerns. It was amended on June 25, 2013 to include privacy protections. The ACLU of Ohio commends members of the Ohio House Transportation, Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee for adding this amendment which will require law enforcement to obtain a warrant prior to accessing cell phone location information in non-emergencies.

SB 5 nearly received a full vote from the Ohio House in June 2013. It was reassigned to the House Judiciary Committee in early October 2013. The ACLU of Ohio strongly encourages passage of the amended bill by the Committee. If the amendment is stripped, police throughout Ohio will remain free to obtain as much cell phone location data, as often as they want, with little or no oversight.

Bill Status:

Testimony on 5/14/13
Passed out of the Senate Public Safety, Local Government & Veteran Affairs Committee on 3/21/13
Passed the Senate on 4/17/13
Passed out of the House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on 6/25/13
Reassigned to the House Judiciary Committee on 10/10/13
Testimony on 2/26/2014