Joe Palazzola reports:
While federal courts in New York and Washington mull the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records, a panel of judges in California has answered another weighty Fourth Amendment question: Do we have an expectation of privacy in our hotel guest records?
No, we do not, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
But hotels do have an interest in keeping their records private, and so, in a gift to privacy advocates, the appeals court struck down a Los Angeles ordinance that required operators to produce information about their guests to police officers, upon request, without a warrant. The information included a guest’s name and address, the number of people in the party, vehicle information, arrival and checkout dates, rooms number and method of payment.
Read more on WSJ.
I’m glad we got something, but I still detest the third party doctrine that says we lose our expectation of privacy by turning over our information to a business. The business has a property interest/privacy expectation, but we don’t. That needs to change.