Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”
For full text of the article, please visit Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws | Ars Technica.
- Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws (arstechnica.com)
- Privacy Ref Introduces Interactive, Virtual Data Privacy Roundtable Series (prweb.com)
by Jess Kamen, Politico Morning Tech, Oct 2, 2012
Courts and legislatures around the country are struggling with where to draw the line on government access to your electronic data. A federal appeals court in New Orleans [recently heard] oral arguments in a case involving the government’s ability to review location data from cellphone companies. To obtain the information, lower courts have ruled that the government needs a search warrant supported by probable cause. The government argues that the information is cellphone company business records, and cellphone users have given up some degree of privacy when they give up their location information.
California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required law enforcement to get a search warrant before obtaining any location information from any device. ‘It may be that legislative action is needed to keep the law current in our rapidly evolving electronic age,’ said the governor in his veto message, adding he was not ‘convinced’ the bill struck the right balance between the needs of law enforcement and individual privacy. http://tinyurl.com/8kx9s4x
- Gov. Brown vetoes requiring a warrant for cellphone location info (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Governor Brown Vetoes California Electronic Privacy Protection. Again. (eff.org)
- California Governor Vetoes Landmark Location-Privacy Law (wired.com)
- Cell phone location data not private, Feds argue (computerworld.co.nz)
By Michelle Maltais, LA Times, May 1, 2012
Most of the California Location Privacy Bill to require a warrant to access location information from cellphones is moving on for consideration by the full Senate. What isn’t moving forward is the section requiring wireless providers to produce a detailed report on the information they provide to government agencies. Senate Bill 1434, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), was recently approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee with an amendment.
For full text of the article, visit California Location Privacy bill moves to full Senate vote – latimes.com.
- Cellphone industry opposes California location privacy bill (arstechnica.com)
- Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
By Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, What They Know, January 23, 2012
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court ruled Monday [in United States v. Jones] that police must obtain a warrant before attaching a GPS tracker to a suspect’s vehicle, voting unanimously in one of the first major cases to test constitutional privacy rights in the digital age. … The court split 5-4 over the reasoning behind Monday’s decision, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the majority that as conceived in the 18th century, the Fourth Amendment’s protection of “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” would extend to private property such as an automobile. …
For full text of the article, visit Supreme Court Backs Privacy Rights in GPS Case – WSJ.com.
For full text of the Court’s opinion in United States v. Jones, click here.
- Supreme Court rules 9-0 that warrant absolutely needed for police GPS tracking (wired.com)
- GPS Surveillance: A Crossroads for the Fourth Amendment (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- CDT Summary of Supreme Court Case, Does GPS Tracking Require a Warrant? (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Supreme Court Considers GPS Tracking Case Today (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- New CRS Report on Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES, Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2011
For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply “the Hacker.” Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest. Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it’s not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, mainly to keep suspects in the dark about their capabilities, an FBI official told The Wall Street Journal in response to inquiries.
- ‘Stingray’ Phone Tracker Fuels Constitutional Clash (online.wsj.com)
- Tech Today: Phone Tracker Tests Fourth Amendment (blogs.wsj.com)
- Keeping ‘Stingrays’ Secret Makes Case Tougher for Prosecutors (blogs.wsj.com)
- How Technology Is Testing the Fourth Amendment (blogs.wsj.com)
- The StingRay Is The Virtually Unknown Device the Government Uses to Track You Through Your Phone [Privacy] (gizmodo.com)
By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer, September, 2011
Washington (CNN) — Information about how and when the government gathers and uses cell phone location data to track certain criminal suspects should be made available to the public, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. At issue was whether the Justice Department could be forced to release once-sensitive records from past cases, following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the public’s interest outweighed any privacy concerns raised by the government over their warrantless wiretapping.
For full text of article, visit: Court: Some data on government cell phone tracking should be public – CNN.com.
- Court: Make some phone tracking data public (cnn.com)
- FOIA Victory Will Shed More Light on Warrantless Tracking of Cell Phones (eff.org)
- Silicon Alley Insider: The Government Just Admitted For The First Time It Is Using Cell Phone Data To Track Your Location (businessinsider.com)
- Government Must Reveal Cellphone Tracking, Court Rules (techdailydose.nationaljournal.com)