Appeals court says feds don’t need warrant to track cell phone location data

Cell Phone Location Data Tracking

Let’s hope you weren’t betting on the courts to rein in the government’s expansive surveillance powers. IDG News reports that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has decided that the government doesn’t need to get a search warrant before tracking citizens’ location data on mobile phones. Specifically, the court ruled that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment “protects only reasonable expectations of privacy,” which it says don’t include cell phone location data because “a cell phone user makes a choice to get a phone, to select a particular service provider, and to make a call, and because… he voluntarily conveys his cell site data each time he makes a call.” The government’s warrantless tracking of cell phone metadata is just one aspect of the National Security Agency’s controversial spying program, which also allegedly includes extensive warrantless collection of Americans’ digital communications.

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