Passive surveillance bill approved unanimously by Colorado Senate

Update: The House concurred with Senate amendments to HB 14-1152 and re-passed the bill on March 19.

The passive surveillance bill, HB 14-1152, is close to being on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk. The measure, which mandates the purging of most images captured by government cameras after three years, won unanimous approval in the Colorado Senate on Friday.

Access to the images would be restricted after the first year unless they are shown to be needed as evidence in felony criminal proceedings or in civil, labor or administrative proceedings.

As defined in the legislation, passive surveillance images include those taken by photo radar cameras, license plate readers and HALO street cameras operated by police. Not included are images taken by police car dashboard cameras or cameras worn by police officers.

“We’re trying to honor the rights of citizens to conduct their lives as they see best without constant oversight from the government,” said Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, during floor discussion earlier in the week. “In today’s world, you cannot walk down the street without expecting that there’s one of two cameras clicking away.”

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, now goes back to the House for consideration of a minor amendment added in the Senate.

Follow the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition on Twitter @CoFOIC. Like CFOIC’s Facebook page. Visit CFOIC’s legislature page to track bills in the General Assembly that could affect the flow or availability of information in Colorado.

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