by Daniel Solove, ACS, November 7, 2011
The Supreme Court has long held that there is no expectation of privacy in public for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment. Because the Fourth Amendment turns on the existence of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Court’s logic means that the Fourth Amendment provides no protection to surveillance in public. In United States v. Jones … FBI agents installed a GPS tracking device on Jones’ car and monitored where he drove for a month without a warrant. …federal circuit courts have reached conflicting conclusions on GPS, and now the Supreme Court will resolve the conflict.
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)
United States v. Jones
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-1259 D.C. Cir. Nov 8, 2011
Issue: (1) Whether the warrantless use of a tracking device on respondent’s vehicle to monitor its movements on public streets violated the Fourth Amendment; and (2) whether the government violated respondent’s Fourth Amendment rights by installing the GPS tracking device on his vehicle without a valid warrant and without his consent.
Plain English Issue: Whether the Constitution allows police to put a tracking device on a car without either a warrant or the owner’s permission; and whether the Constitution is violated when police use the tracking device to keep track of the car’s whereabouts.
For links to SCOTUS coverage of this case, as well as other materials, visit United States v. Jones : SCOTUSblog.
- Can Cops Use GPS to Track You? (abcnews.go.com)
- Editorial: The Court’s GPS Test (nytimes.com)
- How GPS tracking threatens our privacy (cnn.com)
- Supreme Court Set to Hear Landmark GPS Tracking Case (pcworld.com)
- Supreme Court To Decide Major GPS Tracking Case (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Feds Shift Defense of Cellphone Tracking (online.wsj.com)
Electronic Privacy Information Center, June 27, 2011
The Supreme Court will decide if warrantless locational tracking violates the Fourth Amendment. The Court granted review of a District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals opinion on two legal questions. The first is whether police need a warrant to monitor the movements of a car with a tracking device. The second is whether policy can legally install such a device without their target’s consent, and without a valid warrant. …
For full text of the article, including links to relevant cases, visit EPIC – High Court To Decide Major GPS Tracking Case.
- Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Key Warrantless GPS Tracking Case (eff.org)
- U.S. Supreme Court to Review GPS Surveillance Case (legaltimes.typepad.com)
- Supreme Court will set rules for warrantless GPS tracking (news.cnet.com)
- Wyden, Chaffetz Introduce the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Lawmakers Propose Warrant Requirement for GPS Data (wired.com)
- Feds to Supreme Court: Allow Warrantless GPS Monitoring (wired.com)