Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Will 4th Circuit split with 11th on cell site tracking?

The entire 4th Circuit considered whether the police need a warrant before getting your location data when your cell phone connects to cell towers.  The en banc 11th Circuit said no in US v. Davis and the Supreme Court denied cert, but the Florida Supreme Court said yes in Tracey.

The Washington Post covered the oral argument here:

Almost immediately Wednesday, questions from the bench centered on whether location information from cellphones is any different than records of banking transactions or landline phone calls.

Defense attorney Meghan S. Skelton said the government had essentially tracked the defendants’ every move, equating cellphone location data to “dragnet surveillance.” Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein countered that the information gleaned from cell towers was imprecise, unobtrusive and created by the wireless provider — not the government.

A divided three-judge panel of the court ruled in August that accessing the location information without a warrant for an “extended period” is unconstitutional because it allows law enforcement to trace a person’s daily travels and activities across public and private spaces.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No one really "needs" a cell phone ... except criminals ...

To all the non-criminals, dump your cell phone, be happy and free!