CDT Summary of Supreme Court Case, Does GPS Tracking Require a Warrant?
Center for Democracy and Technology, November 8, 2011
1) Supreme Court to Decide Whether GPS Tracking Requires Warrant
On November 8, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument in the case of United States v. Jones, which raises the question of whether the government can, without a warrant, install a Global Positioning System (“GPS”) tracking device on a person’s motor vehicle to track the vehicle’s movements. If the Court decides that the installation or use of a GPS device to track a person is a “search” or “seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, then government agents would generally be required to obtain a warrant before using such a device. The Court’s decision could also shed some light on whether other forms of location tracking – such as monitoring the location of a mobile device such as a cellular telephone – trigger the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment. …
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