Matt Trebelhorn of the Legislative Research Commission reported on Electronic Privacy for the annual Topics Before The Kentucky General Assembly report.
•Advancing electronic communications technologies have created vast quantities of personal
data. Use of and access to that personal data by third parties, including law enforcement, is
creating challenges regarding personal privacy.
• Control over digital assets, such as online banking, email, and Facebook accounts, after death
is an emerging area of trusts and estates law. Other states, have adopted laws to attempt to
standardize treatment of digital assets.
• Employers have sought access to the social media accounts of job applicants to review the
contents of the accounts as a factor in determining the suitability of the job applicants. Some
states have responded with legislation prohibiting employers from requiring applicants to
give them access.
• In 2014, the US Supreme Court held that the contents of a cellular phone could not be
searched during arrest without a warrant. Because of the volume and variety of data on a cell
phone, traditional justifications for searches during arrest were held not to apply to the data
on a cellular phone.
• Nationally, some law enforcement agencies use a device called a Stingray to find all cell
phones in a given area. This technology can be used to find a particular telephone, such as
that of a crime victim, a missing person, or a criminal suspect. The device sends out a signal
that mimics a cell phone tower, and all nearby phones answer back. Use of such devices—
sometimes done without a warrant, and collecting information on any nearby telephone—
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