Cops need a warrant to take location data from your phone according to California court

Cops need a warrant to take location data from your phone according to California court
Thanks to a ruling in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, the odds are that the cops will need a warrant before grabbing location data culled from your phone. A recent decision by Judge Susan Illston said that cellphone users have reasonable expectations of privacy when it comes to the location data collected by their carrier.

The location data generated by your phone is now protected in some jurisdictions by your 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Part of Judge Illston's decision is based on her understanding that cellphones are "ubiquitous" and that many "will find their cell phone quite literally attached to their hip throughout the day." The judge says it is this portability which makes data from cellphone towers differ from GPS data covering an automobile's whereabouts. The auto is limited to driving on public roadways giving its driver a lower expectation of privacy. In addition, while a caller assumes that the number he or she dials is visible to a carrier, there is nothing that indicates to the user that his or her location is also being tracked.

While other courts have ruled the same way, this decision is not binding in other courtrooms. You might seem knowledgeable when pulled over in another district and refusing to turn over your location data to the cops by citing the decision in USA v. Elijah Cooper. But it is more likely that the cops will see you as a wise guy and put the cuffs on you.
   U.S. District Court Northern District of California Opinion on Cellphone Location Privacy



source: Scribd via Mashable, Engadget

FEATURED VIDEO

2 Comments

1. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

I'm sure most police don't even know this data is stored on a phone. It would seem to me this is more protection from carriers giving away or selling your location data.

2. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 371; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

This is still easy to get. Today, judges hand out warrants like candy.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.