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Opinion: Cell Phone Ruling an Intrusion on Personal Privacy

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

September 24, 2012

Last month’s ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit did little to protect personal privacy in the digital age, according to a New York Times editorial. In the case, the government obtained data from a defendant’s cell phone with the help of his cell phone provider. The majority said the defendant’s rights weren’t violated because he “did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the data given off by his voluntarily procured pay-as-you-go cell phone.” Though the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled against warrantless GPS tracking, this case involved no physical trespass, the appeals court reasoned. But carrying a cell phone “should not obliterate privacy rights…” the report states. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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