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Data protection measure could end up on Michigan ballot

If passed, it would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search emails and cellphones seized during an arrest.
Credit: AP
Angela Beauchamp fills out an absentee ballot at City Hall in Garden City, Mich., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. People in about 50 Michigan communities are participating in largely mail-based local elections that might be a blueprint for the presidential battleground state in November. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A proposed constitutional amendment to consider electronic communication and data as personal property has unanimously passed the Michigan Senate. 

If it passes the state House, voters would decide in November whether or not to amend the Michigan Constitution to require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search emails and cellphones seized during an arrest. 

Sponsor Sen. Jim Runestad says the change is essential to preserve personal privacy now that smartphones and other technologies are an integral part of daily life. He says "Americans shouldn’t be forced to choose between using new technologies and protecting their privacy from authority." 

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