Courts Divided Over Searches of Cellphones
by Smni Sengupta, NYR, November 25, 2012
Judges and lawmakers across the country are wrangling over whether and when law enforcement authorities can peer into suspects’ cellphones, and the cornucopia of evidence they provide. …“The courts are all over the place,” said Hanni Fakhoury, a criminal lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group. “They can’t even agree if there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages that would trigger Fourth Amendment protection.”
For full text of the article, visit Legality of Warrantless Cellphone Searches Goes to Courts and Legislatures – NYTimes.com.
- On police searches of cellphones, legal consensus elusive (mysanantonio.com)
- Americans’ Right To Privacy Is Taking A Huge Hit From The Courts (businessinsider.com)
- Consensus Eludes Courts in Searches of Cellphones (nytimes.com)
- Should Cell Phones Be Subject to Search Without a Warrant? (usnews.com)
- Senate bill to allow warrentless government access to your online services (pcworld.com)
by David Kravets, Threat Level, Wired, October 2, 2012
California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have required the state’s authorities to get a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge to obtain location information from electronic devices such as tablets, mobile phones and laptops. The measure passed the state Senate in May and the Assembly approved the plan in August. … Brown, a Democrat, last year vetoed a measure requiring police officers to obtain a warrant before searching someone’s cellphone after arresting them. That leaves California police officers free to search through the mobile phones of persons arrested for any crime. …
For full text of the article, visit California Governor Vetoes Landmark Location-Privacy Law | Threat Level | Wired.com.
By Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, March 7, 2012
A Maryland court last week ruled that the government does not need a warrant to force a cell phone provider to disclose more than six months of data on the movements of one of its customers. … Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled that a warrant is not required to obtain cell-site location records (CSLR) from a wireless carrier. … The Obama administration laid out its position in a legal brief last month, arguing that customers have “no privacy interest” in CSLR held by a network provider. Under a legal principle known as the “third-party doctrine,” information voluntarily disclosed to a third party ceases to enjoy Fourth Amendment protection. …
For full text of this article, visit Obama admin wants warrantless access to cell phone location data.
- Obama admin wants warrantless access to cell phone location data (arstechnica.com)
- United States v. Flores-Lopez (jolt.law.harvard.edu)
- Court Ruling Opens Phones To Warrantless Searches (forbes.com)
- New CRS Report on Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
Three great articles by Robert Gellman on location privacy, on First Amendment & Fourth Amendment issues in the US Supreme Court’s GPS Tracking case (US v. Jones), and on the complexities of legislating privacy after US v Jones — in the Communia Blog of the Woodrow Wilson Center‘s Commons Lab.
- Legislating Privacy after US v Jones: Can Congress Limit Government Use of New Surveillance Technologies?
- Nader, Onassis, and Jones: Privacy in Public and Limits on the Private Sector
- Location Privacy: Is Privacy in Public a Contradiction in Terms?
Robert Gellman, JD is a privacy and information policy consultant in Washington, D.C. He served for 17 years on the staff of a subcommittee in the House of Representatives. He can be reached at bob [at] bobgellman. [dot] com or visit his website at http://www.bobgellman.com/.
- Legislating Privacy After US v Jones (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court Relies on Kerr’s Theory of Fourth Amendment and Property (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court GPS Tracking Case: Round-up and Resources (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court Ruled on GPS Tracking Case, Backs Privacy Rights (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- GPS Surveillance: A Crossroads for the Fourth Amendment (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supremes to Congress: Bring privacy law into 21st century (news.cnet.com)
Spatial Law and Policy: Top 10 Stories of 2011
by Kevin Pomfret, Spatial Law and Policy Blob, December 27, 2011
- U.S. Supreme Court to address law enforcement’s use of tracking devices.
- Impact of budget cuts becoming more pronounced
- Privacy issues regarding geolocation becomes international story
- Increased efforts to regulate Internet
- Commercial use of drones becoming a reality
- Lightsquared/GPS dispute
- India revises its Remote Sensing Data Policy
- Indonesia passes Geospatial Information Act
- Big Data
For full text of Kevin’s article with a great discussion on each topic and useful links, visit Spatial Law and Policy: Spatial Law and Policy: Top 10 Stories of 2011.
- Hot Spatial Law and Policy Issues for the Coming Year (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Spatial Law and the Smart Grid (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Geospatial Information Technology in Indonesia and its Legal Framework (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Six Provocations for Big Data (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Webinar on Geospatial Privacy (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Former FGDC Executive Director on Mapping and the Spatial Data Infrastructure (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- New CRS Report on Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
by David Kravets, Wired, November 8, 2011
WASHINGTON — A number of Supreme Court justices invoked the specter of Big Brother while hearing arguments Tuesday over whether the police may secretly attach GPS devices on Americans’ cars without getting a probable-cause warrant.While many justices said the concept was unsettling, the high court gave no clear indication on how it will rule in what is arguably one of the biggest Fourth Amendment cases in the computer age. … Justice Stephen Breyer told Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben that, “If you win this case, there is nothing to prevent the police or government from monitoring 24 hours a day every citizen of the United States.” …
For full text of the article, visit Wired.com.
- Supreme Court Sees Shades of 1984 in Unchecked GPS Tracking (wired.com)
- Justice Breyer warns of Orwellian government (thehill.com)
- Supreme Court invokes ‘1984’ fears with GPS car tracking (news.cnet.com)
- Police GPS tracking case may result in ‘1984’ scenario: judge (news.nationalpost.com)
- Which Way Privacy? (slate.com)
- Supreme Court Justices Concerned About Pervasive, Technology-Enabled Government Surveillance (forbes.com)
Few Americans are aware that there is an active tech agenda pending before this Congress that carries enormous implications for technological innovation, for the privacy and free expression rights of Internet users and, ultimately, for the openness of the Internet. … I retired my crystal ball some years ago; I know better than to predict whether and when Congress might act on any particular measure. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take a moment to understand what is at stake and let members of Congress know where we stand — firmly on the side of the open Internet. So here are some of the top tech bills to watch:
- [Consumer privacy;
- Government privacy (ECPA);
- the Protect IP Act (PIPA);
- Data retention;
- Data breach;
- and net neutrality; GPS & LightSquared; and GPS tracking and the Fourth Amendment.]
For full text of the article, visit Tech Agenda: Bills Carry Enormous Implications for Technology – ABC News.
- What’s on Washington’s Tech Agenda? (abcnews.go.com)
- Op-ed: The shocking strangeness of our 25-year-old digital privacy law (arstechnica.com)
- Senators Call for Privacy Law Update (eff.org)
- Leahy Pledges Action On ECPA By End Of Year (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)
- Very Busy Agenda for Congress (politicalwire.com)
Kazuhiro Minami and Nikita Borisov, 2010. Protecting location privacy against inference attacks. In Proceedings of the 9th annual ACM workshop on Privacy in the electronic society (2010), pp. 123-126.
GPS-enabled mobile devices are a quickly growing market and users are starting to share their location information with each other through services such as Google Latitude. Location information, however, is very privacy-sensitive, since it can be used to infer activities, preferences, relationships, and other personal information, and thus access to it must be carefully protected. The situation is complicated by the possibility of inferring a users’ location information from previous (or even future) movements. We argue that such inference means that traditional access control models that make a binary decision on whether a piece of information is released or not are not sufficient, and new policies must be designed that ensure that private information is not revealed either directly or through inference. We provide a formal definition of location privacy that incorporates an adversary’s ability to predict location and discuss possible implementation of access control mechanisms that satisfy this definition. To support our reasoning, we analyze a preliminary data set to evaluate the accuracy of location prediction.
To track down this article, visit CiteULike: Protecting location privacy against inference attacks.
- 2012 ASPRS special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
Posted by Bret Cohen, Hogan Lovells Chronicle of Data Protection, July 5, 2011
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Geolocation Privacy CaseThe Supreme Court on June 27 granted certiorari in a geolocation tracking case that could have implications for companies that incorporate location-tracking features into their products or that monitor the locations of their employees or assets. Specifically, the Court asked the parties to brief whether the government violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by installing a Global Positioning System GPS tracking device on his vehicle without his warrant and without his consent. …
For full analysis, visit Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Geolocation Privacy Case : HL Chronicle of Data Protection.
- Wyden, Chaffetz Introduce the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court To Decide Major GPS Tracking Case (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Executive Counsel ” Lawmakers Eye Geolocation Apps (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Lawmakers Propose Warrant Requirement for GPS Data (wired.com)
- Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Key Warrantless GPS Tracking Case (eff.org)
- Bill Would Keep Big Brother’s Mitts Off Your GPS Data (wired.com)