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GovBytes: Supreme Court Decides GPS Tracking without a Warrant is Unconstitutional

Everyone knows that today we can be tracked by GPS anywhere under the Sun, and yet we welcome it into our everyday lives. We get lost in big cities and we can’t find the nearest subway/metro station. Grab your phone, enable GPS and data, and there you go! But what about cases where we don’t welcome GPS tracking? Imagine your car is being tracked, you have no idea, and a search warrant was not obtained. On one hand, it can lead to kidnapped people being rescued and criminals being caught. On the other hand, it can allow police to track you for minor offenses or simply because of your daily activities. According to the Supreme Court in U.S. v Jones, tracking without a warrant is unconstitutional. Paul Wormeli, executive director emeritus at the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute, had this to say:

“We need to get beyond this kind of issue and come up with technology independence laws that sustain the protections of privacy and civil rights, but at the same time give police the tools they need,”

GPS Tracking Case Could Have Wide Ranging Fallout

Decisions by the Supreme Court are made based on whether or not a law or lower courts decision is Constitutional. This will undoubtedly make it difficult for Police Departments to circumvent the decision.

Should Police Departments be trusted to surveil our every move? Or was the Supreme Court right that under the Fourth Amendment, GPS tracking without a warrant qualifies as unreasonable surveillance?

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