Privacy Advocates Advise Supreme Court to Protect Phone Location Data under the 4th Amendment

TechCrunch covers CEI’s amicus brief in Carpenter v. United States.

Among the Supreme Court’s many upcoming cases is Carpenter v. United States, which will settle the question of whether your location and movements, as determined by the ordinary interactions of your phone with the network, are protected by the Fourth Amendment. Dozens of companies, advocates, experts and interested parties just weighed in ahead of the hearing.

Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, et al.

The government’s compulsory acquisition of data in this case was a seizure. Processing the data to make it human-readable was a search. The records were in relevant part the property of Messrs Carpenter and Sanders… And digital documents are best treated as constitutional “papers” or “effects.”

There is a presumption in favor of the warrant requirement suggested by the text of the Fourth Amendment, and it is confirmed by this Court’s precedents. Thus, it was unreasonable to seize and search the data without a warrant. Lacking exigency or other excuse, the government should have gotten one.

Read the full article at TechCrunch.