While there has been heightened public awareness of the law of privacy in recent years, much of the debate has focused on federal law and policy to the exclusion of the states. But state laws can provide civil liberties protections above and beyond the baseline guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, and in privacy law, as in many other areas, a state can provide what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called a “laboratory” for “novel social and economic experiments.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has taken those words of Justice Brandeis to heart with its new State Policy project, which tracks developments in privacy law among the states. The project’s website provides resources on state law in a number of issue areas: student privacy; drones and UAVs; consumer data security; data breach notification; location privacy; genetic privacy; the right to be forgotten; and auto black boxes (EDRs). In each issue area, EPIC also highlights what it calls an “exemplary law,” such as the Florida Information Protection Act, which provides strong consumer data protection, or an Oregon law that limits the use of drones for surveillance in law enforcement.
For more on EPIC and its mission, see the website’s “About EPIC” page.