Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Study Finds That A Lot Of U.S. Police Departments Use Cell Phone Tracking

Recently the courts in the U.S. ruled that police departments and other law enforcement agencies needed to get search warrants in order to use GPS tracking but that decision doesn’t seem to be having any effect of police departments using cell phones for tracking people.

This is the result found in a new survey released by the American Civil Liberties Union that showed that an overwhelming number of law enforcement agencies engage in some sort of cell phone tracking.

While there are cases where this sort of things can be a real life saver as in the case of finding missing people the majority is being used in criminal investigations and this has lead to several members of Congress to introduce bills calling for “location privacy” to be respected by police.

The ACLU said its survey of more than 200 law enforcement agencies showed “disturbing” results, with few  seeking warrants and “unclear or inconsistent legal standards” depending on the jurisdiction.

“What we have learned is disturbing. The government should have to get a warrant before tracking cell phones. That is what is necessary to protect Americans’ privacy, and it is also what is required under the constitution,” said Catherine Crump, an ACLU attorney.

“The fact that some  do get warrants shows that a probable cause requirement is a completely reasonable and workable policy, allowing police to protect both public safety and privacy.”

via PhysOrg



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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