Supreme Court Rules GPS Monitoring Requires Warrant
Good news today. The Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Antoine Jones that GPS monitoring requires a warrant. While there were concurring opinions, the justices were unanimous in the decision, which you can read here. The issue:
Whether the attachment of a GlobalPositioning-System (GPS) tracking device to an individual’s vehicle, and subsequent use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements on public streets, constitutes a search or seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.
The Court ruled:
The Government’s attachment of the GPS device to the vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment
....the Court need not address the Government’s contention that Jones had no “reasonable expectation of privacy,” because Jones’s Fourth Amendment rights do not rise or fall with the Katz formulation. At bottom, the Court must “assur[e] preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted.”
One question not addressed: Whether the electronic surveillance, if achieved without having to physically trespass on Jones’s property, would have been “an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.”
Background on the case here.
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