Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 5, 2011

CRS – Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law. Richard M. Thompson, Law Clerk, December 1, 2011

  • “Legislation has been introduced in the 112th Congress that proposes to update, clarify, or, in some instances, strengthen the privacy interests protected under the law and give law enforcement a clearer framework for obtaining crucial crime-fighting information. In particular, Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jason Chaffetz introduced identical legislation, S. 1212 and H.R. 2168, entitled the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, or GPS bill, which would make it unlawful for a service provider to disclose or law enforcement to intercept or use a person’s location unless they obtained a warrant based upon probable cause or one of the limited exceptions applies. Senator Patrick J. Leahy has introduced the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendment Act of 2011 (S. 1011), which not only includes a warrant requirement for geolocation information, but also overhauls and updates other provisions of federal electronic surveillance law…This report will briefly survey Fourth Amendment law as it pertains to the government’s tracking programs. It will then summarize federal electronic surveillance statutes and the case law surrounding cell phone location tracking. Next, the report will describe the GPS-vehicle tracking cases and review the pending Supreme Court GPS tracking case, United States v. Jones. Finally, the report will summarize the geolocation and electronic surveillance legislation introduced in the 112th Congress.”
  • Previous post:

    Next post: