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No Cell Phone Tracking Without Warrant

kodiaktau (2351664) writes | about 3 months ago

0

kodiaktau (2351664) writes "The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before tracking cell phones. The court ruled on a case involving violent crimes committed by Quartavius Davis, who was convicted using tracking records collected over 67 days. Prosecutors showed evidence that 11,606 location points, including recorded calls and location of towers was enough to determine the Davis' whereabouts. Defense attorneys cited 4th Amendment rights of privacy were violated in the warrantless search.

The police originally got authority to use a "D-Order", which allows them to gather records and is easier to obtain than a subpoena. In Judge Sentell's opinion paper, he notes, that the police effectively did an end-run around typical requests for this information. Choosing to treat the request as on-going investigative data instead of the precedent set in previous cases. The judge goes on to say, "...it cannot be denied that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures shields the people from the warrantless interception of electronic data or sound waves carrying communications." His follow-on argument suggests that by using the location information the police gathered and the manner in which they gathered it is effectively monitoring an individual, which does require a warrant.

Davis was still found guilty, but the court effectively put law-enforcement on notice about the manner in which is obtains this data for future cases."

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