Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Judge rules against warrantless cellphone tracking

updated 10:20 pm EST, Thu November 17, 2011

Brief order points to the Fourth Amendment

United States District Judge Lynn Hughes has issued an order that bars law enforcement agencies from obtaining cellphone tracking data without first obtaining a warrant. The judge argues that the government cannot use the Stored Communications Act as a legal justification to force cellular carriers to relinquish cellphone location data without probable cause.

"When the government requests records from cellular services, data disclosing the location of the telephone at the time of particular calls may be acquired only by a warrant issued on probable cause," Judge Hughes writes in a concise order. "These data are constitutionally protected from this intrusion."

Proponents of warrantless access claim that the Stored Communications Act, which covers certain types of electronic communication records, eliminates the need to show probable cause if an agency seeks location tied to cellphone calls. The arguments hinge on the idea that users give up a reasonable expectation of privacy when they obtain service from a third-party company such as a cellular carrier.

Judge Hughes disagrees with the law enforcement agencies, however, arguing that "the standard under the Stored Communications Act is below that required by the Constitution." [via Wall Street Journal (sub. required)]



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Tylt Energi 2K Travel Charger

Backup batteries and device chargers are objects that many users take for granted. They often only one-dimensional in functionality, r ...

ActvContent Sync Smartband

Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features fo ...

RocketStor 6324L Thunderbolt 2 eSATA bridge

Like it or not, the shift to Thunderbolt is underway. The connection is extremely flexible, allowing for video and data to co-habitate ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News