TN Bill To Protect Your Cell Phone Privacy

(Memphis) Watch who you call, because many local police departments are tracking your calls.

A Tennessee State senator says so many people’s privacy is being invaded that she’s introducing a bill to change the law.

According to a national study, one in four state and local law enforcement agencies tap into cell phone information using towers.

A new bill proposed by State Senator Mae Beavers from the Nashville area would require police to get a warrant before collecting information like who you’re calling, what time you’re making your calls, and where that call is coming from.

“If you don’t get a search warrant you can’t use it as evidence. So hopefully this will sail right through as a privacy issue to protect the innocent,” said Senator Beavers.

The bill is very similar to a new law passed last year to ban drones from spying on regular people like you and me from the air.

Beavers says it’s a preventative bill because it defines a very gray area in the law.

“They’re being nosey. They’re just trying to dip into people’s business,” said Owen Cox.

Cox hopes the bill becomes law.

“It’s an invasion of privacy.  They’re just trying to make their job easier for them. It’s not supposed to be easier. They need to hustle for what they want out here,” said Cox.

The legislature is also considering a similar bill that will make officers get a warrant before looking in your phone for possible evidence.

Jerry Wilson thinks these plans are too restrictive on law enforcement.

“I think they need to do what they need to do. I don’t have any problem with them tracking someone who needs to be investigated,” said Wilson.

The Tennessee Legislature will not take up Senator Beavers’ bill until it starts its session in two weeks.

Memphis Police did not return our questions about whether they use cell towers to track people without warrants.