A ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that historic cellphone location data isn’t constitutionally protected and instead is simply part of a business’s records. That means it’s not necessary for authorities to apply for a full search warrant to access the data, and instead just need a simple court order.
The ruling overturns a previous decision by a federal judge in Texas that protected such cellphone data. Specifically the appeal has decided that there’s not such a strict expectation of privacy for users of cellphone networks.
The ACLU argues that “the government should not be able to access this personal, sensitive information without getting a warrant based on probable cause.”
Cellphone tracking is part of the blanket surveillance carried out by the NSA. Stores are also engaged in tracking their customers by finding Wi-Fi signals. Moscow’s Metro system was recently said to be planning a highly accurate and highly dubious cellphone tracking system on its subway stations.
[Image via Flickr user: thskyt]