Casagrande Signs on as Sponsor to Handlin Privacy Bill Package

From the Assembly Republican Press Office:

Casagrande Signs on as Sponsor to Handlin Privacy Bill Package

Saying that the issue of protecting the right to privacy and unjustified government intrusion are a great public concern, Assembly Republican Policy Co-Chair Caroline Casagrande is signing on as a sponsor to the package of privacy-related bills introduced by Deputy Assembly Republican Leader Amy Handlin.

In the summer, Handlin authored six bills addressing various aspects of privacy and government’s interference with that right and recently introduced two additional bills on the same topics.

“Whether releasing surveillance photos by video recorder, scanning license plates or releasing personal financial information, limits need to be put in place that address the troubling pattern of government overstepping its bounds,” said Casagrande, R-Monmouth. “A person shouldn’t need to be looking over their shoulder wondering if they’re actions are being scrutinized by government. Some of the shadowing techniques being employed and information being obtained are things we thought only happened on television or in the movies. There needs to be justification for using these Big Brother practices and how long the information they retrieve can be retained.”

Handlin initially introduced the six bills and two resolutions on June 27 that address areas of a person’s right to privacy as well as freedom of the press, and on Monday (Sept. 9) added two bills (A-4328 and A-4398) concerning accessing data contained on the computer system of a motor vehicle as well as information obtained when license plates are scanned.

“The public has no idea about how they are being watched, which I believe is another example of the government overstepping its bounds without justification,” said Handlin, R-Monmouth. “If there is a legitimate reason to use some of these surveillance techniques, then let a court approve it. We shouldn’t be comfortable with the notion that if you don’t have something to hide, then don’t worry. We depend on law enforcement to apprehend criminals and prevent crime, but probable cause needs to be demonstrated in order to use some of these methods.”

The following is a synopsis of Handlin’s legislation that Casagrande is joining as a sponsor:

A-4305: prohibits the improper release of photographs or videos captured by security cameras or other recording devices operated by public entities.

A-4306: prohibits a governmental entity from obtaining a biometric identifier of an individual without that individual’s consent. The bill does not prohibit any law
enforcement agency from obtaining biometric identifiers of someone who has been placed under arrest. A “biometric identifier” is a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint or DNA.

A-4307: a person who knowingly obtains or discloses personally identifiable health information, in violation of the federal health privacy rule, is guilty of a crime of the
third degree.

A-4308: this bill increases the penalties for the unlawful disclosure or use of taxpayer information by State tax officials. The purpose of this bill is to provide enhanced deterrence against violations of taxpayer confidentiality.

A-4309: requires a Superior Court judge to approve the installation of any video camera by a public entity.

A-4310: requires an administrative agency to include a privacy impact statement when adopting, amending, or repealing a rule.

A-4328: restricts access to recorded data imbedded in motor vehicle computer systems.*

A-4398: requires judicial approval prior to installation or use of automated license plate reader by law enforcement agency.*

ACR-200: proposes an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution stating that people have a right to privacy from government intrusion, unless the government follows the due process of law.

ACR-201: requests the President and Congress enact a federal shield law for journalists. A shield law would grant journalists notice and an opportunity to be heard in federal court in order to challenge a federal subpoena seeking phone records or other information identifying a source. Federal bills S.987 and H.R.1962, both titled the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013,” were introduced in May 2013. The bills would establish the federal shield law.

* introduced on Sept. 9, 2013

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