Survey: Minnesotans Want Improved Data Privacy Protections

from The Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota

The vast majority of Minnesotans want their electronic data protected from unreasonable searches by the government, according to results of a new survey released today by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota and Liberty Minnesota.

The survey of 500 diverse Minnesotans shows that most think the government should not be able to view their phone data, pictures and emails, or store location and travel data, without probable cause. In addition, two-thirds of Minnesotans would support a constitutional amendment on the 2016 election ballet that reinforces the protection of electronic data against unreasonable search. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling on Feb. 24-25.

Survey highlights include:

  • 85% of respondents think the government should be not able to view their phone data, pictures and emails without probable cause
  • 66% of respondents support a constitutional amendment that spells out privacy protections for electronic data (including 86% support of those between the ages 18-29)
  • An overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans surveyed support protecting electronic data from unreasonable search

The legislature is currently considering SF 32, the “Data Privacy Amendment” authored by Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover) and Sen. Scott Dibble (D-Minneapolis). The bill is authored in the House by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) and Rep. John Lesch (D-St. Paul). The bill has broad support from groups such as the Minnesota ACLU, Occupy Minnesota, the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance and the Republican Party of Minnesota.

“In an era of warrantless NSA spying, it’s great to see the people of Minnesota stand up against government invasion of their data privacy without probable cause,” said Neil Lynch, chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota. “We believe this survey reinforces the efforts of Sen. Petersen and other legislators as they fight for our Fourth Amendment rights at the state level.”

Liberty Minnesota Executive Director Karl Eggers added, “Men, women, Republicans, Democrats, millennials, senior citizens — everyone wants the government out of their electronic data. Our political leaders would be foolish to go against virtually every demographic by opposing this bill. Liberty Minnesota is proud to join Sen. Petersen and — as this survey shows  — almost all of Minnesota in strengthening our state’s legal protections of private electronic data.”

Sen. Petersen stated,” This poll sends a clear message to policymakers in St. Paul that Minnesotans wish to live free of government intrusion into their privacy, including their digital devices and data.”

The complete survey results are available at:
http://www.rlcminnesota.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PPP-MN-DataPrivacySurvey.pdf