Florida has a unique amendment in its Constitution in Article 1 Section 23 that is meant to protect privacy from governmental intrusion into our private lives. Florida’s Article 1 Section 12 is more detailed than the US Constitution’s 4th Amendment and protects our privacy as it relates to searches and seizures.
As technology has increased, so has the intrusion into our private lives. These technology advances inevitably lead to a loss of privacy. Consider for example license plate readers, which are cameras that automatically capture and store the license plate of every vehicle passing on a road. An argument can be made for detecting stolen vehicles or those registered to wanted or missing/endanger persons, but what of the remainder? What takes place is another database that can be used for tracking the movements of a certain vehicle. If people were perfect, there would be no problem, as this data would never be subject to abuse. We all know however perfection is not the case, notably in government operations.
Florida has databases legislatively created within the past 7 years for certain prescription drugs and scanned personal documents from driver license applications. These include all citizens, not just those suspected of any wrongdoing, as there is never any cause required for the government to obtain this data from citizens. The operating theory here is that citizens must prove their innocence, as “If you have done nothing wrong, just comply and there will be no problem”. Far too many Floridians fail to realize the danger with this mindset, and how it conflicts with the founding principles of our nation.
An aggressive privacy bill is needed in Florida to keep in check this invasive advance of technology.