Celebrate increased privacy: Supreme Court rules against warrantless location tracking
On this Fourth of July, the 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, let’s also celebrate perhaps the biggest Fourth Amendment win so far this century: the Supreme Court’s ruling against warrantless location tracking.
Not only does the Fourth Amendment protect cell phone location information, but the recent Supreme Court ruling could ripple out and affect our right to privacy in regard to data gathered from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, digital voice assistants, embedded medical devices, and even devices in the future such as in-home robots.
On July 4, 1776, the men signing the Declaration of Independence could not have imagined cell phones – or that people would willing walk around holding a device capable of tracking their movements thanks to cell providers collecting cell phone location information. Nor could those men who were intent upon rebelling against King George III and declaring this nation’s independence from absolute governmental tyranny have imagined that more than 200 years in the future, the U.S. government would feel entitled to obtain that cell site location information (CSLI) without a warrant.