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Cell Phone GPS Tracking Laws

Senator From Illinois Looks At GPS Tracking Technology

In 2012 the United States Supreme Court made a ground breaking decision on the use of GPS trackers among police and other government agencies using the locational technology to track potential criminal suspects. What the justices decided in a narrow vote was that the use of a GPS tracker to monitor a potential criminal should first come with a warrant. Although first obtaining a warrant before using a GPS tracking device sounds rather trivial it was in fact a major decision that impacted the way many police agencies conducted operations. It also was a sticking point among privacy advocates who felt police (over)use of GPS trackers was infringing on privacy rights. Although the court ruling on GPS trackers was certainly a historical one it failed to distinguish additional methods in which GPS data could be obtained. More specifically the highly debated controversies about acquisition of cellular data. That might all change though if a new bill backed by Daniel Biss, a Illinois Senator, makes it’s way through the House of Representatives. What Biss wants is a new bill to address monitoring outside of the use of personal GPS tracker hardware. Basically, a bill that would have any police or government agency to first obtain a warrant before accessing locational data on any individual and/or their property. As Biss explained, locational monitoring is an ever-increasing form of data collection especially now that so many people have smart phones with GPS bedded data in them. This type of locational information should be deemed private and unfortunately the current high rulings on GPS tracking to blanket all locational-based monitoring. Clearly, people support law enforcement and want them to have the tools necessary to do the most efficient job possible, but that should never mean infringing on the privacy of a person considered innocent until proven guilty. Bias’ backed Senate bill would extend privacy protection to information or data gathered from any digital devices of a suspect. This is something privacy rights advocates are very enthusiastic about. The Biss backed bill received no opposition as it moved through the Senate and is now awaiting consideration from the House of Representatives. Are you concerned mobile app companies, search engines, cellular providers, social networking websites and other online sources are storing your personal data? Are you concerned your private data is being used and sold to third party agencies?

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