On Thursday, February 22 the New Hampshire House voted in favor of adding a general right to individual privacy to the state constitution.
The proposed constitutional amendment, CACR 16, states:
“An individual's right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent.”
Do we need a constitutional right to privacy?
Supporters of CACR 16 argue that the constitutional protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” are not enough to shield private information, such as health data, digital communications, and DNA.
“I see [the amendment] kind of laying a marker and establishing this right to privacy that will kind of grasp and hold onto any future changes in technology that we may be not even able to conceive of.”
- Rep. Renny Cushing
Will this interfere with law enforcement?
Bill opponents argue that CACR 16 is too vague and might interfere with legitimate law enforcement or public health activities, such as tracking disease outbreaks.
Other opponents argue such a constitutional amendment would open New Hampshire to excessive lawsuits for storing everything from tax data to driver’s license photos.
The proposed amendment next heads to the Senate.
Do you support a constitutional right to privacy? Share your opinion in the comments below.