Jan 302012
 
 January 30, 2012  Court, Surveillance

Law prof Daniel Solove writes:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259 (U.S. Jan. 23, 2012) is a profound decision in Fourth Amendment juris- prudence as well as in privacy law more generally. In this case, FBI agents installed a global positioning sys- tem (GPS) tracking device on Jones’s car and moni- tored where he drove for a month without a warrant. Antoine Jones challenged the warrantless GPS surveil- lance as a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed (United States v. Maynard, 615 F.3d 544 (D.C. Cir. 2010). Other federal circuit courts have reached con- flicting conclusions on GPS, and the Supreme Court stepped in to resolve the conflict.

In an astonishing set of opinions, the Court con- cluded 9-0 that the installation of a GPS tracking device on a car is a Fourth Amendment search. The opinions are quite surprising, not just because they take the law in new directions from the court’s existing precedent, but also because they advance some new theories of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence that might reshape the way it is interpreted and have reverberations throughout a much broader swath of privacy law.

Read more from the Privacy & Security Law Report.

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