CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, September 24, 2012

"When GPS Tracking Violates Privacy Rights"

This editorial is from the New York Times:

For the right to personal privacy to survive in America in this digital age, courts must be meticulous in applying longstanding privacy protections to new technology. This did not happen in an unfortunate ruling last month by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The case concerned a drug conviction based on information about the defendant’s location that the government acquired from a cellphone he carried on a three-day road trip in a motor home. The data, apparently obtained with a phone company’s help, led to a warrantless search of the motor home and the seizure of incriminating evidence.

The majority opinion held that there was no constitutional violation of the defendant’s rights because he “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data given off by his voluntarily procured pay-as-you-go cellphone.”

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It seems technology is continuing to create legal frenzy. Wi-fi, GPS, and phone hacking. The possibilities in technology are endless and so too are the possibilities for increased technology based crime. The public at large has never been so vulnerable to becoming victims of crime en masse.

Posted by: jack heght | Sep 25, 2012 11:12:11 AM

These are the type of articles that drive me a little nuts. Even from the title "When GPS tracking violates privacy rights", the reader is left with an impression that it is the technology that is problematic. The world is becoming more connected and smaller as communication and telematics have helped us. My question is how could GPS tracking be anymore violating privacy than video cameras? Cell phones? Tape recorders? People need to take responsibility instead of blaming technology.

Posted by: GPS Tracker | Sep 26, 2012 10:13:44 AM

It is a disgusting fact that surveillance technology is abused.Even court has taken the notice of certain incidents.It depends upon how people use these devices.These have been proved very helpful for deteriorating crimes.People should learn about using these devices safely.

Posted by: GPS tracker | Nov 8, 2012 9:47:22 PM

it really is important to get the law and real time GPS tracking on the same page. It is a powerful tool that can really help keep people safe. But if abused it can turn ugly. I really think we are heading in some great directions

Posted by: Sean Carter | Feb 1, 2013 7:48:01 AM

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