Covington & Burling writes:
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Carpenter v. U. S., a case that involved the collection of 127 days of Petitioner Thomas Carpenter’s cell site location information as part of an investigation into several armed robberies. We attended the argument to gain any insights into how the Supreme Court may resolve this important case.
The central issue in the appeal is whether the government can access this type and amount of individual location data without a warrant. But an equally important issue is whether the Supreme Court should reevaluate the “third-party doctrine” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in light of dramatic changes in the way individuals interact with technology in the digital era. The “third-party doctrine” provides that individuals have no expectation of privacy in any information that is voluntarily released to a third party—a mobile-phone provider, cloud service provider, and the like. The Court’s decision will have major implications for technology companies’ ability to protect customer data against warrantless searches by law enforcement officials.
Read more on Covington & Burling Inside Privacy.