Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy

  • CNET | by: Alfred Ng |
  • 06/22/2018
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of digital privacy.

In a 5-4 decision on Friday, the justices said police need warrants to gather phone location data as evidence for trials. That reversed and remanded a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Carpenter v. United States is the first case about phone location data that the Supreme Court has ruled on. That makes it a landmark decision regarding how law enforcement agencies can use technology as they build cases. The court heard arguments in the case on Nov. 29.

The dispute dates back to a 2011 robbery in Detroit, after which police gathered months of phone location data from Timothy Carpenter's phone provider. They pulled together 12,898 different locations from Carpenter, over 127 days.

The legal and privacy concern was that police gathered the four months' worth of Carpenter's digital footprints without a warrant. A Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judge ruled that cellphone location data isn't protected by the Fourth Amendment, which forbids unreasonable search and seizure, and therefore didn't require a warrant.

Comments

Privacy Policy

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

Supreme Court says warrant necessary for phone location data in win for privacy respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.