Illinois’ Protecting Household Privacy Act Was Signed Into Law. Now What?

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On August 27, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Protecting Household Privacy Act into law. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

House Bill 2553 prohibits Illinois law enforcement agencies from obtaining household electronic data or direct the acquisition of household electronic data from a private third party.

This includes any information or input provided by a person to any device primarily intended for use within a household that is capable of facilitating any electronic communication, excluding personal computing devices (like a personal computer, cell phone, smartphone, or tablet) and digital gateway devices (like a modem, router, wireless access point, or cable set-top box serviced by a cable provider.

There are exceptions to this prohibition, including certain emergency situations, if a warrant is obtained or if the owner of the household electronic device or person in actual or constructive possession of it gives consent.

If a law enforcement agency obtains such information under an exception, it may not
disclose any information obtained. Again, however, there are exceptions: a supervisor of that agency may disclose particular information to another government agency, employee of a government agency, or material witness with some conditions.

Any person or entity that provides household electronic data in response to a request from any law enforcement agency under this bill shall take reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of any household electronic data during transmission to any law enforcement agency. They also shall limit any production of household electronic data to information responsive to the law enforcement agency request.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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