Privacy and Technology

Privacy rights are a fundamental American value

Technological advances and civil liberties can coexist.

Privacy, including the right to be free from unwarranted government surveillance, is guaranteed under the California Constitution. The people–not the government or corporations–should determine how and when others can access our personal information.

Right now, technological innovation has outpaced our privacy protections. As a result, our digital footprint can be tracked by government and corporations in ways that were just recently unimaginable. This includes our communications, whereabouts, online searches, purchases, and even our bodies. When the government has easy access to this information, we lose more than just privacy and control over our information. Free speech, security, and equality suffer as well.

We work to ensure that civil liberties are protected as technology advances. Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technologies and protecting their privacy rights. The ACLU is at the forefront of making sure that the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches extends to digital property, so that our data remains our own.

Privacy and Technology

ACLU Applauds California Senate Approval of Bill to Establish Safeguards Before Law Enforcement Can Acquire New Surveillance Technology

Contact: Daisy Vieyra, 916-442-1036 x613 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2018 SB 1186 will require local elected officials’ approval before law enforcement acquires surveillance technologies like drones, social... Read More

California Legislation to Watch

A New Bill Restores California’s Power to Fight Secret Surveillance

By Matt Cagle Law enforcement agencies are deploying secret and invasive surveillance technologies to collect sensitive location and biometric data, target local activists, and feed ICE’s deportation machine.... Read More


California Religious Freedom Act (SB 31)

On the campaign trail, President Trump proposed a Muslim registry. Although he hasn’t followed through with this threat yet, we must remain vigilant, affirm our common humanity, and reject any attempt to scapegoat... Read More


ICE Using Powerful Stingray Surveillance Devices In Deportation Searches

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project May 23, 2017 | 10:15 AM Amid news that immigration arrests are rising sharply under the Trump Administration, the Detroit News... Read More

Privacy and Technology

A Victory for Digital Privacy: AB 165 Halted in California Assembly

Sacramento, CA— Facing staunch coalition opposition, Assembly Member Jim Cooper has pulled AB 165 from consideration by the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. More than 60 leading civil rights... Read More