December 21, 2020

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2020

(Frisco, TX) – Today, Representative Jared Patterson filed HB 888, which would aid in protecting digital privacy rights for Texans across the state. Contact tracing is a tool that has been employed by public and private health entities for decades, but modern technology has introduced options that if utilized, could jeopardize the sanctity of Texan’s privacy. This legislation clarifies that location data obtained from a cell phone, or other personal device, may not be used for contact tracing.

Patterson stated, “Fourth amendment rights cannot be ignored. I believe government tracking of cellular data and location is unconstitutional, and the government shouldn’t be pushing the boundaries of privacy.  Policy always lags innovation and that’s why it’s imperative that statute ban this process should authorities attempt to employ it as a method.”

To ensure this legislation does not inhibit first responders from operating as needed in emergency situations, Patterson included a section exempting law enforcement and peace officers from the effects of this subchapter.

Contact tracing without addressing government overreach is granting bureaucracy with uncontrolled authority and should not remain a grey area in the future. HB 888 addresses this directly.

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Urban Affairs, and Resolutions Calendars. He also serves on the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations, and the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.