Internet Privacy, at Least in New Jersey

Contrary to what many people believe/hope, most transactions on the Internet are not private. From ISPs supplying information to dataminers; to hackers; to employers, individuals’ personal records are open to scrutiny. Therefore, the recent New Jersey Sureme Court decision in State of New Jersey v. Shirley Reid should come as welcome relief. Essentially, the NJ Supreme ruled that the need for a subpoena to access personal records also exists in the virtual world as it does in the material one. And, in more than one instance(p.14 for example), the NJ Supreme Court declares that Article 1, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution provides better protection for individual’s internet rights than federal law. We proudly point to the fact that the New Jersey Library Association is listed as an amicus curiae. For additional information on this landmark ruling, you can read the following articles: one from the Associated Press and the other from Law.com. For additional information look at State Laws Relating to Internet Privacy. For an overview at the federal level, read this CRS report; and for a good FAQ on the topic, go to Privacy and the Internet: Traveling in Cyberspace Safely.

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