Judge: Warrant Needed for Cell Phone Location Data
PRIVACY LAW—U.S.August 24, 2011
A New York state judge has decided that law enforcement authorities need to have a warrant to access location data transmitted by a suspect's cell phone, Ars Technica reports. Under a provision of the Stored Communications Act, the federal government wanted a cell phone provider to disclose 113 days of location data from a suspect's cell phone. In a 22-page opinion, the judge wrote, "The fiction that the vast majority of the American population consents to warrantless government access to the records of a significant share of their movements by 'choosing' to carry a cell phone must be rejected...the Fourth Amendment doctrine must evolve to preserve cell phone users' reasonable expectation of privacy in cumulative cell-site-location records."