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Cell Site Location Data and Nontrespassory Surveillance after U.S. v. Jones

Hanni Fakhoury

With the rise of smartphones, the government's use of cell site location data to pinpoint our exact location has grown more widespread (and precise) over time. For years, courts permitted the government to get this location data without a search warrant. And judges that fought against the government's attempts at getting this data were met with an unfortunate reality of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence: we don't have any privacy in data we turn over to third parties, like cell phone providers. The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in U.S. v. Jones however, presented a "sea change" in the law of warrantless surveillance, calling into question the future viability of the third party doctrine. This talk will review the law of location data, go in depth into how Jones calls this law into question, and conclude with the steps we need to take in the future in order to safeguard our privacy.


HN9A31$5.00