Candidate for Governor Releases “Privacy First” Plan
Manchester, N.H. –Candidate for New Hampshire Governor, Andrew Hemingway, today released the first in a series of legislative proposals and initiatives under his “Solutions First” platform. “Privacy First” is a compilation of existing and new proposals to secure New Hampshire’s citizens from government intrusion and overuse of data collection on students, businesses and all individuals.
“I believe strongly that privacy is an issue engrained in American culture, law, tradition and in the Constitution. The authors of this great document may not have known the technology we would have more than two centuries later, but they did know government, when given the opportunity, will encroach on the liberties of individuals. We must pro-actively stop this over-reach by the federal, state and local governments,” Hemingway said.
In his proposal Hemingway outlines several concepts to protect New Hampshire citizens from the undue intrusion of government, both new and current pieces of legislation processing through Concord.
Representative Neil Kurk (R-Weare, NH), joined Hemingway to discuss privacy issues with Andrew.
“We in New Hampshire value our privacy. We expect our government and our businesses to respect that. From license plate scanning to GPS monitoring, from eye-in-the-sky drones to cellphone tracking, our personal space must not be invaded,” Kurk said.
In her time as Governor, Maggie Hassan has proposed not one initiative, nor pro-active support for legislation to protect New Hampshire’s citizens from the over-reach of Government.
“There are several things a Governor can do on the issue of privacy. However, the Governor must be willing to be bold, be innovative and be creative in pursuit of privacy. Sitting back letting the NSA metadata collection continue, the data collection of our students continue and the medical data of our citizenry continue without one word of opposition or attempt to protect Granite Staters is exactly the kind of Status Quo Governing we don’t need. This is just one in a series of several pro-active solutions I will be releasing over the months of this campaign,” concluded Hemingway.
A PROPOSAL OF THE HEMINGWAY
SOLUTIONS FIRST PLATFORM
Outline: The concept of privacy is paramount in the protection of individual liberties. The degree to which the government, either federal, state or local, corporations or curious individuals have the ability to gather information on anyone for any reason is the degree to which our privacy has been invaded. Therefore, it is paramount that government must do everything in its power to prevent this incursion. Government’s job should be to protect citizens from this intrusion and not to be the purveyor of it. The advancement of digital capabilities and technology without legislative protection has led to an “open season” mentality on information and data collection. Whether it is through our medical and health organizations, our schools, or the blatancy of metadata collection by the National Security Agency (NSA), it is incumbent upon all government and political leaders to develop ways to protect the privacy of Americans and specifically, Granite Staters.
Right to Privacy as it relates to Medical Records
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) creates fertile ground for the gathering and potential dissemination of patient specific data. No one should have access to this information as prescribed by the Health Insurance and Patient Protection Act (HIPPA). Obamacare allows individuals known as “Navigators” access to this data, and there is no logical reason this should be allowed. This is a basic protection that any New Hampshire citizen should expect. While we cannot address this portion of ACA from a state level, we can address it with insurance companies regulated by the state.
New Hampshire should implement legislation that prohibits the state from collecting an individual’s health/healthcare information.
New Hampshire should implement legislation that forbids health insurance companies, licensed in New Hampshire, from collecting data for dissemination to the federal government.
(The above laws would have exceptions for investigating agencies to gain access to needed information in pursuit of fraud or other pertinent investigations, once a judge has duly authorized a warrant.)
Right to Privacy as it relates to government/law enforcement access to emails.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) was passed by Congress as an effort to protect subscribers of emerging technologies, specifically email and other electronic communication. It delivered standards for law enforcement agencies in regards to access of such electronic communications. Unfortunately, the pace of technological advancement has been much faster than the laws protecting the citizens who use it. This has led to many court cases and many examples of government agencies accessing emails through service providers without a warrant.
Several states have attempted to address this issue on a state level and there is a growing movement to fix this problem on a federal level.
New Hampshire should implement legislation that requires state law enforcement and other government agencies on state and municipal level to require a warrant before asking service providers to deliver a private individuals emails.
New Hampshire should pass a non-binding resolution in support of EPCA Reform.
Right to Privacy as it relates to the collection and dissemination of Metadata
It is no secret that the federal government, through the NSA, is gathering metadata on American citizens. Metadata is quite simply the collection of data on Americans, that goes beyond basic information and actually is a mass collection of data that provides other data. So, the NSA is mass collecting, with a large digital net, any and all information available to them. Not just who a citizen may have talked to, but all the metrics of that communication–from its length to number of pixels in a sent photo. Currently, there is no requirement for a judge to sign a warrant or approve of this data collection prior to its collection.
New Hampshire should implement legislation that prohibits use of metadata in any and all New Hampshire Courts, without the proper exercise of the legal system, including a properly executed warrant signed by a judge prior to and authorizing data collection.
Right to Privacy as it relates to the collection and use of Biometric Technologies
The first time many Americans learned of something called “facial recognition biometrics” was following the 2001 Super Bowl was it was revealed the Tampa Police Department used secret video surveillance on the thousands of football fans who attended the sporting event and those visiting the surrounding restaurant/bar district. This was no a tradition video camera operation such as is seen in parking lots and shopping malls. This is a facial recognition program with the capability to identify and to store information on anyone who is captured on the digital video recording.
It is not difficult to envision how such systems could be used to identify individuals who participate in public demonstrations against the government etc, which could have a chilling effect on individuals rights and liberty. In addition, such a blanket collection of digital information without a judges prior consent goes against the basis of our legal system and constitutional protections. Currently, in NH, only the Department of Motor Vehicles if prohibited from this collection.
New Hampshire should implement legislation prohibiting the collection, by any government entity, of biometric technology’s video surveillance, without the proper exercise of the legal system, including a properly executed warrant signed by a judge prior to and authorizing data collection of a specific individual(s).
While the use of biometric data, if obtained legally, may be a benefit to law enforcement, it is by no means a full proof system. Tests have found the error rates for facial biometrics technologies are high. As a result, innocent people can be wrongly identified as criminals (false-positives) and known criminals and suspected terrorists can fail to be detected all together (false-negatives). Similar to the use of lie detector tests, biometric technology may be a useful investigative tool, yet it is not accurate enough to be presented in a court room.
New Hampshire should implement legislation prohibiting the admissibility of facial biometric technology data in NH Courts as a means of evidence.
Right to Privacy as it relates to the release of wireless communication and location tracking of cell phones
Location tracking is not a singular technology. It actually combines several technologies. Three basic techniques can be used to determine the location of a wireless phone or laptop.
- · GPS compares the timing of radio signals from satellites in space
- · Triangulation collects directional signals from cell phone towers
- · Wi-Fi local area networks track high-frequency radio signals from transmitters
Thus, mobile devices are being turned into portable behavioral tracking and targeting tools. This may be a benefit to marketers, for individuals who voluntarily agree to have such information attained in order to receive marketing information (“There is a Starbucks nearby!”) However, it can also be used by government agencies, without judicial approval of such information. For instance, if the police believe someone may be the person who just robbed a store, they can call a wireless phone company and ask for that individual’s location without a warrant. The expanded use of this system could lead down a slippery path for all citizens.
New Hampshire should implement legislation prohibiting wireless phone companies and those that hold this tracking data from disseminating the information to any government agent without a properly executed warrant signed by a judge, when law enforcement believes an individual may be in the process of committing a crime, has committed a crime or there is imminent danger of a crime being committed.
Right to Privacy as it relates to personal data/information maintained on cell phones
The United States Supreme Court will be making a decision on the issue of whether law enforcement can search a person’s cell phone without a warrant. There are existing cases, which led to the Supreme Court case, where police have searched the information contained on an individual’s cell phone after an arrest. Law enforcement has been applying older court precedent which allows police to search items carried by a suspect at the point of arrest. The court will decide whether that may include all the personal data and communication included on the cell phones. Many consider this gathering of information an unreasonable search. Regardless of the US Supreme Court Decision, states should take decisive action.
New Hampshire should implement legislation barring law enforcement from accessing, reviewing, using any data collected from an arrest suspect’s cell phone, without a proper warrant.
Right to Privacy as it relates Education
While collection of student’s data is not new, it is more intense and disseminated to a greater audience than ever before, as the federal government loosens regulations on who can receive the collected data. Common Core, the standardization of education program, uses mass collection and analysis of student information to implement itself as a program. This information included everything from a student’s name and address to his or her social security number, family information, attendance and grades. This information is then shared with third party research groups and private companies.
New Hampshire should implement legislation prohibiting third party access to information on individually identifiable New Hampshire students.
Right to Privacy as it relates to the Prevention of misuse of EZ Pass data.
The key aspect of EZ Pass is the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip installed in the device. This allows government/law enforcement agencies to track your vehicle’s (the RFID) physical location. The monitor can be read at any-time from anywhere and therefore with the right equipment can be tracked. The current road monitoring system can maintain data concerning vehicle passage of a toll for up to seven-ten minutes before it is discarded. It is possible that a system can maintain the data for longer periods in order to track movements through a transit system or to measure average speed if desired. While this is not something currently being used as a speed-enforcement tool, the capability exists. As with many technologies, we have seen the use of the technology advance more quickly than the laws to maintain individual’s privacy.
New Hampshire should implement legislation prohibiting law enforcement agencies from monitoring/tracking EZ Pass monitors without a specific warrant or judicially approved reason to do so.
Support for Other Specific Existing Legislative Proposals
HB 1619 – Prohibiting the acquisition, collection, or retention of certain information.
. This bill establishes the expectation of privacy in personal information, including personal identifiers, content, and usage, given or available to third-party providers of information and services, including telephone; electric, water and other utility services; internet service providers; social media providers; banks and financial institutions; insurance companies; and credit card companies. The bill prohibits and acquisition of this data by any state, local municipality, private entity or individual without obtaining a search warrant and having probable cause.
HB 1212 – Social Media Privacy in Higher Education
The bill prohibits the University System of New Hampshire and the several community colleges from requesting access to personal social media accounts of any current or prospective students. Admission to the university will not be contingent to provision of such access, nor shall the university be allowed to search for such data without first asking for permission as applicable through existing laws.
HB 1533 – FN Requiring a warrant to search information in a portable electronic device.
This bill would require that law enforcement get a search warrant before being allowed to search any portable electronic device. The government must have probable cause and any information obtained in violation of this law is not admissible in court.