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Runested proposes electronic privacy amendment to state constitution

woman at laptop holding an iphone
William Iven

Michigan voters could decide whether to include an electronic privacy guarantee in the state constitution. A state lawmaker formally proposed the amendment Wednesday.

Republican Representative Jim Runested (R-White Lake) says state and federal laws have not kept pace with the ways it’s possible to invade people’s privacy using technology. He says law enforcement should only be allowed to do that, and only with a warrant approved by a judge.

“It will integrate that into our Fourth Amendment protections," he said. "They didn’t anticipate this kind of technology, so intrusive that people can get hold of your data, not have a warrant.”

Runsted’s amendment could be placed on the ballot by super-majorities in the House and the Senate. He says the votes to do that are there right now.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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