PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

United States v. Jones and GPS Surveillance

Location Privacy 02a

The Supreme Court has long held that there is no expectation of privacy in public for the purposes of the Fourth Amendment.  Because the Fourth Amendment turns on the existence of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Court’s logic means that the Fourth Amendment provides no protection to surveillance in public.  In United States v. Jones, the Court will confront just how far this logic can extend.  FBI agents installed a GPS tracking device on Jones’ car and monitored where he drove for a month without a warrant.  Jones challenged the warrantless GPS surveillance as a violation of the Fourth Amendment.  The D.C. Circuit agreed with Jones. United States v. Jones, 615 F.3d 544 (D.C. Cir. 2010).  Other federal circuit courts have reached conflicting conclusions on GPS, and now the Supreme Court will resolve the conflict.

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Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security

Nothing to Hide

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my new book, NOTHING TO HIDE: THE FALSE TRADEOFF BETWEEN PRIVACY AND SECURITY (Yale University Press, May 2011).  Here’s the book jacket description:
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Cell Phone Stalking

Cell Phone Location Tracking

According to the Wall St. Journal, “more than 25,000 adults in the U.S. are victims of GPS stalking annually, including by cellphone.”  The article notes that a cell phone account holder can track everyone on the account.  Users are notified by text message but can’t stop it.

This tracking policy might work well with a pesky teenager, but what about cases of domestic violence?

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Google’s Street View and Privacy

Google Street View

Google has added a new feature in selected cities to Google Maps. This new feature allows users to view street level shots of each block. For a long time, Google Maps has provided satellite images from above, but Street View allows people to view an area as if standing on the sidewalk. From the NY Times:Continue Reading