GPS Tracking Required Warrant

12 August 2010 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

A court recently ruled that the use of GPS tracking data in a drug distribution case violated the defendant’s constitutional rights and the police needed a warrant. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief in support of Antoine Jones that his expectation of privacy was violated by the GPS device placed on his vehicle. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Jones conviction in the case of US v. Maynard. One may wonder if the GPS was tracked from a cell phone if the outcome would have been different. Since our cell phones have GPS data, it is any wonder that police might use the GPS cell data to track us? This court decision apparently protects us, at least for the time being.

Facebook About to Release Geolocation Features

A recent report indicates that Facebook will provide “location-aware data to become a part of existing platform applications,” which will compete with Foursquare and Twitter Places. Facebook already owns Hot Potato which is a check-in service and offered to buy Foursquare for $120 million which was rejected. Clearly Social Media is using geolocation data, and this will definitely grow! How courts rule about the use of GPS and geolocation data in Social Media in the wake of the the Maynard case will be interesting to monitor.

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