Recently, the United States Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States (June 28, 2018) ruled that law enforcement must apply for a warrant to obtain the cell tower records of a citizen to establish what the court termed “a virtual timeline and map of a person’s whereabouts — information that is detailed, encyclopedic, and effortlessly compiled”.  The opinion extends the concept that the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government applies to continued technology. The court had already ruled that the contents of a person’s cell phone data is protected and may not be accessed by the government in absence of a search warrant. The court seems to be steadfast in requiring a search warrant in areas where technology has shown its need for privacy. It was a 5 to 4 decision of the court. Now that Justice Kennedy has retired, it is uncertain if future decisions in this area will be similarly considered.

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