Court Says Warrants Required for Phone Location Data
An appellate court in Atlanta unanimously decided that police violated the Fourth Amendment rights of a suspected criminal by accessing his cell phone's location data without a warrant. Police investigating a string of robberies used a court order to obtain the suspect's cell phone data, which included details about the cell towers his phone connected to when making calls and gave away his general location. Court orders are easier to obtain, as the investigators only needed to show that the data might be relevant to the case. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided, however, that in order to gain access to such data investigators will need to show probable cause — or stronger evidence tying a suspect to a particular crime. "Cell site location information is within the subscriber's reasonable expectation of privacy," wrote Judge David B. Sentelle. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation." Despite ruling in the defendant's favor, the court upheld the 162-year prison sentence. This ruling contradicts two other appellate court rulings, which determined that police can access location data without a warrant. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the matter, though the high court will soon decide whether or not police need a warrant to search the contents of a suspect's cellphone.
Supreme Court Says Warrant Required for Cell-Based Location Searches
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must generally obtain a search warrant in order to track people via cell phone towers.
Supreme Court Won't Weigh In On Phone Location Warrants
The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to review an appeal concerning the use of search warrants for cellphone location data.
Court Rules Cell Location Data Fair Game
The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with the government and ruled that law enforcement can gather cell location records without first obtaining a warrant.
Supreme Court to Weigh Accessibility of Cell Location Data
The Supreme Court today said it will hear a case regarding whether or not law enforcement can access certain types of cell location data without a warrant. As it stands today, the government does not need to get a warrant when seeking location and other information held by phone companies.
Supreme Court Weighing Warrants for Cell Phone Location
The Supreme Court today heard a case regarding whether or not law enforcement can access certain types of cell location data without a warrant. Government agencies do not currently need a warrant when requesting location and other data held by phone companies thanks to a 1979 court case.
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