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 […]

GPS Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment: Thoughts on United States v. Jones

In United States v. Jones, 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.

NSA Surveillance: There’s More

Phone NSA 01

A while back, it was reported that the Bush Administration authorized the NSA to engage in warrantless wiretapping. Based on the information released so far, the program was likely illegal. Now, it appears that the warrantless wiretapping program (more innocuously renamed the “Terrorist Surveillance Program,” or “TSP”) is just the tip of a larger iceberg.

More Fun with the Airline Screening Playset: Body Imaging X-Ray Edition!

Airline Screening Playset Playmobil Set 01

I’ve been following the recent controversy over the TSA’s body imaging X-ray machines, otherwise known as the “backscatter” or “exhibit-yourself-in-the-nude” devices.  It made me reminisce about an old post I wrote about the Playmobil airline screening playset. I had not used the playset for a while.  Five long years have elapsed since my post, and […]

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 […]

Naked Lies and the Airport Body Scan

Airport Screening Privacy TSA

Despite many objections, the TSA has been moving forward on using new airport body scan machines that show people’s naked bodies.   I blogged about these machines here [link no longer available].  “Never fear,” they told us.  “We care about privacy.  We really care!  And so we promise we won’t store the images.” So much for […]

Privacy Expectations: Being Seen vs. Being Recorded

Privacy - Seen vs. Recorded

An interesting case from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals embodies what I believe is a thoughtful and nuanced understanding of privacy. The case is Wisconsin v. Jahnke, 2007AP2130-CR (Dec. 30, 2008). The case is a criminal prosecution of a man who secretly recorded his girlfriend in the nude, in violation of Wisconsin Statute § 942.09(2)(am). […]