Protecting Iowans in the Digital Age

Iowans have become increasingly concerned about security of their personal information in the digital age. The highly publicized case between Apple and the FBI has only brought further attention to the issue of data privacy.

Article I Section 8 of the Iowa Constitution is based on the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from illegal government search and seizure. On Thursday, we passed House Joint Resolution 2003, which proposes a new amendment to State constitution that extends this protection to also prohibit the search and seizure of our personal electronic data and communications.

As we continue to add more of our personal information, photos, messages, email, and data to the cloud, it is important that our digital privacy rights are protected. This constitutional amendment takes a step in the right direction in securing those rights.

Similar to the growing need to extend the privacy rights of electronic data from government action, we have taken action to steps to secure our digital identity and personal information from criminals. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, identity theft costs Americans $24.7 billion per year. House File 2271 passed the House this week, which increases penalties for identity theft.

Moving forward, there remain several important bills to further protect Iowans, and House Republicans have many great proposals to combat human trafficking and protect victims of domestic abuse. In addition to protecting Iowans, we need to ensure our students are prepared for the future economy, and meeting the demands of 21st century jobs. We’re also looking at proposals that will help prepare our students for high-tech and high-skill jobs of the future.

As we near the second funnel, focus will begin to shift from policy to the state’s budget. We continue to have productive conversations on the big issues of coupling Iowa with the federal tax code and resolution of K-12 school funding. I’m optimistic we will be able to resolve our differences with the Senate and move on to building the overall budget.


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