No Warrant? No Problem: Court Okays Warrantless Cellphone Tracking

Tracking wanted cellphones in the U.S. is a little easier for authorities after an appeal overturned a previous restriction.

No Warrant? No Problem: Court Okays Warrantless Cellphone Tracking

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]

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