Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights

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When Antoine Jones was sentenced to life in prison based off evidence gathered from a GPS placed in his car by police, the Supreme Court considered it a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches. The police placed the device in the car without a warrant in order to track his activity over a month to search for evidence of him selling cocaine. This case will continue to shine a light on our ever-evolving tracking technology and the intrusion it may or may not have on our privacy. Justice Sotomayor discusses the implications of this ruling, illustrating how third party tracking devices, such as cell phones or webpage records, may cause controversy if used as evidence. Since those instances do not count as physical intrusion, she implies there may be problems to come with setting boundaries on the use of that information.

The justice system uses logos and ethos as their primary reasoning, referring to the laws in the Constitution as fact and a credible source. Ethical and moral reasoning may come into play in the future, however. Although they may not be seen in actual court rulings, the arguments made to either use information collected by third party technologies as evidence or not will most likely be questions of ethic. When is it ethical, as well as legal, to bend the rules around intrusion of privacy to convict a criminal?

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I wouldn't be surprised if this led to an outbreak of "Big Brother is Watching" and protests. Especially in light of SOPA and PIPA, I doubt people will take kindly to cases like this. I kind of think government should just stay out of technology as much as possible.

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This page contains a single entry by Claire Baglien published on January 23, 2012 5:25 PM.

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