Technology

Warrant Required For GPS Tracking

Supreme Court GPS Decision Makes Little Impact

When police suspected a local man of being a drug trafficker the law enforcement authorities decided to place a GPS tracker on his vehicle to find out what exactly he was doing and where he was going. The GPS tracker became instrumental in helping the police gather evidence that showed the man was indeed trafficking large amounts of illegal drugs.

After local courts handed down a verdict of life in prison to the drug trafficker it was made public that police did not first obtain a warrant before placing the GPS tracker on his vehicle. The same GPS tracker that was so vital in exposing the illegal activity. In a last ditch effort to avoid spending the remainder of his life in jail, the man appealed the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The case became widely publicized due to the increased prevalence of GPS tracking technology, including in popular smart phones such as the iPhone that would store personal locational data. Although the case reached the very highest courts, the decision was still a very closely decided 5-4 vote stating that law enforcement agencies must be first required to obtain a warrant from a judge before they can place a GPS vehicle tracker on a automobile for surveillance purposes. “The Supreme Court case regarding police use of GPS tracking hardware for surveillance was fairly ground breaking because before this multiple states ruled differently on the practice of GPS tracking, leaving many people to wonder what was actually the most appropriate avenue for monitoring potential criminal suspects”, said a security professional for GPS Tracker Shop. “Although the Supreme Court decision will make it essentially mandatory that police departments first acquire a warrant before placing a GPS car tracker on a vehicle it certainly will not slow down the use of vehicle tracking hardware.”

GPS Tracking Cars Saves Money

With the ruling it now appears clear that law enforcement will need to follow a more strict protocol before implementing any strategy that uses GPS tracking, but it in no way will reduce the use of the surveillance technology. This is because GPS tracking saves police agencies and taxpayers money. By not putting uniformed officers out in the field to track potential criminals and instead using a real-time GPS it substantially reduces the cost of long-term accurate surveillance. This is simply another reason the trend of using GPS tracking will continue to rise among law enforcement agencies that are constantly feeling cash strapped.

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