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Will I-Pass Data be Off Limits?

A state legislator hopes so. Rep. Margo McDermed wants to improve privacy protections around the details and usage patterns of the transponders that let drivers breeze through Tollway collection booths. Her bill would remove the power of courts to subpoena the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority for I-Pass records in civil cases, including accidents and divorces. It also would require law enforcement to obtain a judicial warrant before being granted access to those records in criminal cases.

The Mokena Republican intends to submit a bill in the legislature’s upcoming session that addresses concerns raised by privacy advocates after a stalker used a subpoena to get the records of a woman who had a restraining order against him. Reports suggest that McDermed’s proposal will mirror a law in place in California that calls for the ISTHA’s counterpart there to purge its archives routinely of collected data. Both Tollway officials and Gov. J.B. Pritzker have expressed support for increasing safeguards around access to I-Pass data.