ars technica: Warrantless mobile phone location tracking heads to Supreme Court by David Kravets:
[SCOTUS case no. 15-146, docketed July 31]
The US Supreme Court is being asked to resolve once and for all whether the authorities need a court warrant under the Fourth Amendment to obtain a suspect’s cell-site location data records.
The case the justices were asked to review Friday concerns a Florida man who got a life term for several robberies in a 2012 case built with his mobile phone’s location data the police obtained without a warrant.
The case has big privacy implications for anybody who carries a mobile phone. According to the government, that device may be tracked at will without the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause standard being met.
What’s more, the petition to the high court from defendant Quartavious Davis comes as cell-site tracking has become a choice surveillance tool in the aftermath of a Supreme Court ruling that said the authorities needed a warrant to affix GPS trackers to vehicles. In that 2012 decision, the high court declared that the government’s act of affixing a GPS device on a vehicle was the equivalent of a search usually requiring a warrant.