Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Deemed Illegal

11th Circuit held that police need a warrant to obtain cellphone GPS data
Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Deemed Illegal

by Annie Youderian | Courthouse News | June 13, 2014


In the first ruling of its kind, the 11th Circuit held that police need a warrant to obtain cellphone data used to pinpoint a suspect’s location.

The three-judge panel in Atlanta ruled that Quartavius Davis, whose cell tower data placed him near the scenes of six robberies, had a Fourth Amendment right to keep his whereabouts private.

“While committing a crime is certainly not within a legitimate expectation of privacy, if the cell phone site location data could place him near those scenes, it could place him near any other scene,” wrote U.S. District Judge David Sentelle, who was assigned to the three-judge panel.

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