In Texas You Must Have A PI License To Examine Computer Data

Now this is strange. According to a Texas law passed in 2007, anyone who repairs a computer in which they access personal data on the system, must have a private investigators license. In general the law states the following according the article at The Daily Texan:

According to the law passed in the 2007 Texas legislative session, the private investigator’s license is required for repair technicians to analyze their customers’ computer data. This analysis is common for business managers who wish to track their employees’ computer usage or families who want to find out where their children or spouses have been online, said Matt Miller, executive director of the institute.

To obtain a private investigator’s license, computer repair shop owners would have to close their businesses for up to three years to either earn a criminal justice degree or complete an apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator, Miller said.

So if a tech repairs a PC and views data that the government believes is private, than the tech may be convicted of a crime.

Which brings up a situation like trying to remove a virus. If the tech viewed personal data to remove the critter it could be construed as an invasion subject to the law. This is going to make a tech’s life interesting when it comes to repairing systems in which the owner wants to know if any user may have caused the infection.

What do you think? Is this law needed or is it extreme in nature?

Comments welcome.

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