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Opinion: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Central to SCOTUS Case

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

November 17, 2011

In a column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse explores the privacy concerns that surround a GPS surveillance case being heard by the Supreme Court. United States v. Jones "has generated an enormous amount of attention," and when the case was argued last week, the justices, "across the ideological spectrum...expressed alarm at the federal government's core argument, which is that because the GPS tracks the location of vehicles only as they travel the public roadways...nothing of constitutional consequence occurred." Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., said "that in the pre-computer, pre-Internet age, much of the privacy...that people enjoyed was not the result of legal protections or constitutional protections. It was the result simply of the difficulty of traveling around and gathering up information." Greenhouse asserts that Alito "put his finger on the precise issue" when he brought up the question of what, in this case, is "the reasonable expectation of privacy." (Registration may be required to access this story.)  
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