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GPS Tracking and the (U.S.) Fourth Amendment - Jim Huggins — LiveJournal
November 9th, 2011
02:23 pm
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GPS Tracking and the (U.S.) Fourth Amendment
Supreme Court Hears Arguments in GPS Case (from NPR)

This is an interesting case which touches on many things we discuss in my computing ethics course: the nature and scope of privacy, how new technologies interact with societal norms, the need to balance privacy and liberty against security, and so on. 

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:November 10th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
I think both sides make a very compelling point. Honestly, until I read the justification for it, I was a little astonished that they did it without a search warrant...and I think it's kind of a snarky loophole they've left for themselves.

Admittedly, they're right that my actions in public are, well, public...but I should certainly be allowed to go about my business (whether it's to the grocery store or to the doctor to cure some mystery malady or to the strip club) without everyone scrutinizing what I'm doing.

what's your opinion on the whole thing?
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Date:November 10th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
I think that planting a GPS on another person's car without a warrant crosses the line into an unreasonable search. A GPS allows one to track in ways that simply trailing someone can't duplicate --- e.g. following someone onto private property.

It also tends to encourage a certain laziness in investigative work. If you have to pay people to trail a suspect 24/7, you're going to make very careful decisions about what kinds of people are worth that level of surveillance. On the other hand, if you can just slap GPS units on anybody's car and sift through the data later, you're treating people's privacy in a rather cavalier manner.
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