On Air
Open In Popup
MPR News

State Senate passes tougher cell phone tracking standards

Share story

The Minnesota Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring police to obtain a warrant in order to track a person’s location by their cell phone or other electronic devices.

The vote today was 56 -1. Under the bill, law enforcement must show probable cause of a crime. There’s also a requirement for notifying people when their tracking information is collected.

Sen. Branden Peterson, R-Andover, said his bill raises the threshold for law enforcement at a time of rapidly advancing technology.

“Our understanding of sort of the common notions of what traditional Fourth Amendment requirements are, and general privacy standards, is sort of up in the air,” Petersen said. “In light of that, it’s necessary that we address those concerns.”

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, was the lone vote against the bill. Ingebrigtsen, a former sheriff, said he thinks it sends the wrong message.

“You know we’re not running out of bad guys, folks. We just aren’t,” Ingebrigtsen said. “This idea that everybody is walking around and gathering data on those that are doing things right and somehow keeping this data for a later time, that whole attitude is troubling. It’s just very troubling.”