chklt_privacy_100: Privacy

The Fourth Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable government intrusion.

— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

As technology provides new ways to gather information and databases proliferate, the need for privacy protections becomes more urgent. The ACLU is a national leader in working to guarantee that individuals may determine how and when others can gain access to their personal information.

Legal Cases

  • D.Y.F.S. v. Y.N.
    Mother determined to have neglected her child based solely on the fact that she underwent Methadone treatment during her pregnancy.
  • Richardson v. Wanaque
    Town has an unconstitutional juvenile curfew ordinance
  • State v. Kenneth Verpent
    Police should obtain a warrant to perform a urine drug test on a suspect.
  • State v. Byseem Coles
    Police conduct search of detained suspect’s room without his consent or a warrant.
  • State v. Gene Hinton
    Tenant’s right to privacy during eviction proceedings.
  • State v. Ellen Heine
    Landlord issued summons for not allowing Municipal Inspector to enter a rental property.
  • ACLU-NJ v. Martinez
    NJ Motor Vehicle Commission violated state law which dictates that any new regulation, such as the TRU-ID program requires public notice and the chance for citizen review.
  • D.Y.F.S v. I.S.
    Can D.Y.F.S remain involved in a case after they have found no evidence of neglect?
  • State v. Thomas Earls
    Police requested and received information regarding defendant’s whereabouts from his cell phone provider.
  • State v. Kaltner
    What is the expectation of privacy in a home hosting a large, loud party?

Legislative Efforts

  • Drone Regulation
    Creates strong privacy protections for New Jerseyans regarding law enforcement agencies’ use of drones for surveillance purposes.
  • DNA Collection for Low-Level Offenses
    Requires law enforcement to collect DNA samples from adults and juveniles convicted of certain non-criminal disorderly person offenses, including shoplifting and marijuana possession. This type of expansive collection will lead to massive government databases of New Jerseyans’ DNA, raising enormous privacy and due process concerns.
  • Death with Dignity
    Affirms the right of terminally ill patients to self-administer physician-issued medication to end their lives in a dignified and medically-appropriate manner; contains safeguards to avoid coercion and ensure voluntariness and informed consent.
  • Exposure of Birth Parent Identities to Adoptees
    Grants adoptees and certain other persons access to original birth documents that would violate the confidentiality of the adoptee’s birth parents
  • Protection of Birth Parent Identities in Adoptee Records Access
    Provides adoptees access to original documents upon the consent of birth parents and establishes system for adoptee access to family medical history.
  • Exposure of Birth Parent Identities to Adoptees
    Grants adoptees and certain other persons access to original birth documents.
  • Drone Regulation
    Creates strong privacy protections for New Jerseyans regarding law enforcement agencies’ use of drones for surveillance purposes.
  • DNA Collection for Low-Level Offenses
    Requires law enforcement to collect DNA samples from adults and juveniles convicted of certain non-criminal disorderly person offenses.

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