FPF Senior Fellow Peter Swire Quoted in NYT Front Page Story on ECPA


FPF Senior Fellow and the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Professor Peter Swire was quoted today in a New York Times front page story highlighting challenges to applying the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to mobile technologies.

Here is a passage:

As technology races ahead of the law, courts and lawmakers are still trying to figure out how to think about the often intimate data that cellphones contain, said Peter P. Swire, a law professor at Ohio State University. Neither the 1986 statute nor the Constitution, he said, could have anticipated how much information cellphones may contain, including detailed records of people’s travels and diagrams of their friends.

“It didn’t take into account what the modern cellphone has — your location, the content of communications that are easily readable, including Facebook posts, chats, texts and all that stuff,” Mr. Swire said.

The article cites a series of divergent rulings regarding the admissibility of information obtained from cellular devices, highlighting the lack of a clear legal standard on cellular information and privacy.

The NY Times article was published ahead of Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote on a proposed amendment to ECPA.