Police Could Search Cell Phone Data In Emergencies Under New Bill

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Police would be allowed to collect limited cellphone data during emergencies under a controversial bill approved by an Ohio House committee.

The action was approved by the committee in Columbus on Tuesday – despite the concerns of civil liberties groups that authorities could abuse the law.

If passed by the Legislature, it would require cellphone carriers to provide data about a user's location during an abduction or other emergency.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the committee – at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union and similar groups – added language making it clear that police would need a warrant to access the data in non-emergency situations.

Twelve other states already have a similar law.