Stop Reverse Demands (AB 793)

In Senate Cmte

Criminal Justice & Policing · LGBTQI Rights · Privacy & Technology · Reproductive Justice & Gender Equity

Dragnet surveillance demands – so-called “reverse warrants”, “geofence warrants,” or “keyword warrants” – are a form of unconstitutional digital surveillance that put people at grave risk in a Post-Roe America. They can compel tech companies to search their records and reveal the identities of all people who looked up a particular keyword online or drove down a certain street.

When it comes to protecting our health, reproductive rights, and safety, our digital data trail matters. Carrying a smartphone, using social media, and allowing apps to track our location is a part of all of our daily routines. But people who need reproductive or gender-affirming care have to contend with a digital surveillance apparatus that could absolutely be used against them as the political landscape shifts.

California law prohibits tech companies from sharing sensitive reproductive data, including whether a person has visited a clinic or searched for information about abortion care. However, this protection can be circumvented if the police conceal the fact that they are investigating an abortion – for instance, by requesting a list of people in the vicinity of a grocery store next to a Planned Parenthood clinic rather than the clinic itself. The only way to ensure California is a refuge for people seeking or providing abortions or gender-affirming care is to take these types of dragnet surveillance demands off the table.

Bill author: Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland)

Co-sponsors:

  • ACLU California Action
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • If/When/How

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