Police say they need what they call an important tool
Police have a tool they use to solve crimes that some lawmakers in Austin think goes too far. And they want to protect you from something that you actually use every day.
It's your cell phone. Police have used your cell usage to help them close cases. There are two bills in Austin that, if passed, would require a warrant before they can get that information. Scott Henson of the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition told KTRH why it's a good idea.
“The Fourth Amendment says we have a right to be free from unreasonable searches of our persons, papers and effects. Our cell phones are our modern effects,” Henson said.
Henson says you need the protection this bill would provide.
“Most people feel they have a reasonable expectation the government will track them wherever they go without cause,” Henson stated.
No everyone sees it the way Henson does. Ray Hunt of the Houston Police Officers Union doesn't like the bill.
“I think this could cost people lives. We currently have reasonable suspicion in order to track these cell phones,” Hunt said.
Hunt maintains it's a tool cops need to fight crime.
“You might not have probable cause but you definitely have reasonable suspicions when you have a cell phone missing from a murder scene,” Hunt explained.
Henson says there are exceptions, like emergencies, in the bill. And the fight comes after a recent survey revealed that 35.8% of the country is now wireless only as opposed to using a land line.