Privacy law may soon catch up with the reality of the Digital/Social Media Age. Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to require that law enforcement officials obtain a warrant before they access a suspect's personal digital account.
This is the first step in what may become a fundamental change in digital privacy for the United States. The amendment still needs to be passed by the full Senate and then be passed in the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Obama.
While I am hopeful that Congress will act to strengthen privacy laws it is frustrating that it appears that the General Petraeus scandal may have been the catalyst for this issue. The ECPA amendment was attached to HR 2471 which will update the Video Privacy Protection Act.
The bottom line is that if HR 2471 becomes law a warrant will be required to read one's personal digital communications.
To learn more about these issues you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com.
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