Illinois Constitution, Article I, Section 6

“The people shall have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and other possessions against unreasonable searches, seizures, invasions of privacy or interceptions of communications by eavesdropping devices or other means.” IL Const., Art. 1, § 6. The Constitution further provides “[e]very person shall find a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries and wrongs which he receives to his person, privacy, property or reputation.” IL Const., Art. 1, § 12.

Interpreting the Section 6 provision, Illinois courts have held that the privacy clause of the Illinois Constitution protects an individual’s bank records. Further, the privacy clause is implicated if, in the course of a criminal investigation, the state seeks access to medical or financial records that are within the scope of applicable protections.

Distinguishable from Illinois’ common law right to privacy, the constitutional right to privacy only protects an individual from government action, not against private actors. This includes law enforcement searches as well as state required public disclosures of personal information by individuals with a particular relationship with the state.

However, an individual’s right to privacy is not absolute and is only applicable in circumstances where he has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Where a court finds a reasonable expectation exists, the state’s infringement on that right is allowed if there is a compelling and overriding state interest in doing so.