Supreme Court dictates that Government will need a warrant for long-term surveillance using location data

Information security training specialists report a new ruling from The Supreme Court, establishing that, in most cases, the Government will need an order to maintain long-term location surveillance using cell phone records, which protects the privacy of users of these services.

“This is a revolutionary victory for American’s privacy rights in the digital age”, said the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Nathan freed Wessler in a statement.

“Although the constitutionality of a government search for this location data is reasonable, recent cases state that unauthorized searches are generally unreasonable when government officers perform a search to discover evidence of criminal irregularities”, said the court. “Having resolved that acquiring cell phone location information in the Carpenter case was a government search, we also concluded that the government should generally obtain a warrant backed by probable cause before acquiring such records”.

According to experts in information security training, the cell phones and services they offer are an important part of our daily lives, and cell phone records are created without any affirmative action on the part of the user beyond starting the device. Having said so, the Court dictated that “there is no way to avoid leaving a digital trace of location data, so in no meaningful sense the user assumes ‘ voluntarily ‘ the risk of opening an investigation into his movements”.

By saying that “the court has given the privacy law an urgently needed update, finally aligning with the realities of modern life”, Wessler explained that “the government can no longer claim that the simple fact of using technology eliminates the Protections of the Fourth Amendment”, which refers primarily to the right to privacy.

According to experts in information security training, the Court’s ruling recognizes the need to protect highly sensitive location data from mobile phone users and provides a way to protect other sensitive digital information in future cases, such as emails, internet of things devices, and technology that is still to be invented.

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