Warrantless GPS tracking unconstitutional

Based on a syllabus from the Supreme Court released on January 23, the use of GPS tracking outside of a warrant is a breach of the Fourth Amendment. As stated in the syllabus:

the Government’s physical intrusion on an “effect” for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a “search.”

There seem to be quite a few implications that come out of the decision that attaching the device is tantamount to trespassing due to the fact that the action was taken outside of the warrant period (11th of 10 days) and location (Maryland vs DC). There seems to be quite a bit of import being placed on the judgement in the couple of articles I have seen so far, however the wording of the syllabus suggests that the key is the actions and information from outside of the warrant’s parameters as opposed to the collection of location information. I think there will quite a bit of debate this week as to the role of the decision on GPS tracking that we will talk about this weekend on the podcast…check back Sunday for our response to others’ responses.

via Gizmodo


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Jesse is Instructor in Geography and a PhD candidate in Geography focusing on the integration of phenomenology and geospatial technologies to study prehistoric cultural landscape. He is a GIS Professional and Registered Professional Archaeologist and holds an MA in Geography and a BS in Anthropology with a concentration in archaeology.