The following is an excerpt from an article by Ted Claypoole that was published in the BNA Electronic Commerce Law Reporter (16 ECLR 869):
Support for a Constitutional Right to Geolocation Privacy and Anonymity.
The United States Constitution famously does not mention privacy, although it mentions personal security, which could have meant something similar to the founders. However, cases addressing the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution clearly illustrate that a person’s ability to remain anonymous in his location in certain circumstances is an important underpinning for his Constitutional rights. The right to free assembly cannot be fully practiced if the state and non-state actors can track where a citizen goes and who is with her at all steps of the journey. The right to free speech cannot be fully practiced if a person cannot speak out anonymously against tyranny. The right to be secure in person, house or effects cannot be fully practiced if police may surveil a person’s every movement without warrant or court order. So U.S. Constitution cases lay the groundwork for arguing that, at least in some circumstances, privacy of location is a personal right of every American. This paper examines the First Amendment cases, most specifically the cases addressing rights to free speech and free association, that may be used to underlie an argument that United States citizens hold a Constitutional right to location privacy.
Read more on reprinted article on Womble Carlyle.