Runestad wins privacy amendment in state police budget

LANSING, Mich. — A Senate panel on Wednesday approved the state police budget with an amendment by Sen. Jim Runestad that would protect the data and privacy of individuals in Michigan.

Runestad’s amendment would require that the Michigan State Police take all steps necessary to protect the data and privacy of citizens who are not the focus of a departmental investigation and to protect personal information from unauthorized access or misuse.

“Private information and data are routinely gathered during police investigations, and some of this information is ultimately not relevant to a case,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “In these instances, it is critical that we protect the privacy of individuals in our state.”

The amendment also would require vendors and service providers to protect data shared with them by ensuring that information is not sold for marketing or other purposes and that reasonable steps be taken to securely destroy records containing personal information when the information is no longer needed.

The Michigan State Police would be required to provide written notification to any person whose sensitive personal information is accessed or acquired by an unauthorized person.

The Senate Appropriations Committee supported Runestad’s amendment and approved Senate Bill 147, the Michigan State Police budget. The bill now heads to the full Senate.