Does the Fourth Amendment Protect Against GPS Tracking?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case that could have broad implications for how modern surveillance technology is used to track criminals. The question at stake in The United States v. Antoine Jones is whether Fourth Amendment protections from "unreasonable searches and seizures" extends to GPS tracking and where the boundaries between public and private space lies in an era when many people are increasingly trackable through smart phones and other digital devices.

Jeffrey Rosen, professor at George Washington University Law School, explains more about this unusual case.

Comments [5]

Mike from Renton, WA


This case has since been decided as follows:

"Last week, in one of its sessions most anticipated rulings, the Supreme Court ruled


that police erred in not obtaining a warrant before attaching a tracking device to a suspect’s car."

Jan. 28 2012 09:13 AM
Mike from Renton, WA

I think this deserves being brought up every time the 4th amendment is discussed, because, invariably, someone declares "they have nothing to hide".

And are never reminded that (as highlighted here), according to the 4th amendment of the constitution, we all have a right to be free from:

"unreasonable searches and seizures"

No matter how often I read or pick apart or parse the language of the 4th amendment, I have never found in its explicit language or numerous interpretations the exception:

"unless you have nothing to hide".

It is protection, if you have something to hide. It is protection if you think you have nothing to hide.

Otherwise, we would have NO recourse against "unreasonable" searches and seizures having declared we have "nothing to hide".

There's a very valid and essential reason that language was left out.

Those who have "nothing to hide" might be mindful of that.

Jan. 28 2012 09:03 AM
Naira from North Bergen, NJ

They must obtain a warrant before they do it- no question- putting GPS tracker on your car is invading your private property and it is trespassing- so they should get a warrant- that's just the right thing to do.

Nov. 09 2011 08:16 AM
Robert Harmony from Oklahoma

This is a great business opportunity for any automotive garage:

Sweep the car and undercarriage for any foreign electronic devices....

Or the Supremes could do the right thing and require a search warrant

Nov. 08 2011 10:26 AM
anna22 from new york

I've just heard that Quest installed cameras at work. It means that every movement of employees is recorded.
I've decided to check what the media have to say about this ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
NYT is liberal, so not surprisingly they are not familiar with such words as exploitation and workers rights as human rights.
I decided to check "progressive" media. Well, our "progressive" and "brave" host Amy Goodman has only one topic "FLOTILLA." Not surprisingly, Quest is not discussed. Her guests, assorted group of sickos and prostitutes are not interested (not paid) to deal with the violation of HUMAN RIGHTS OF AMERICANS were they are violated.
I came to NPR. The topic you discuss is important, but I have no doubt that I won't hear the discussion of much larger, much more important issue, affecting most Americans.

Nov. 08 2011 06:37 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.