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Use this map to see if cops in your state can track your phone with no warrant

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:08PM EST
Do Cops Need A Warrant To Track Your Phone

Do cops need a warrant to track your phone? Believe it or not, the answer to this question varies by state. To help you figure out whether cops can track your phone without a warrant, the American Civil Liberties Union has created an interactive map that details what procedures, if any, police need to follow in every state before tracking your location.

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As you can see, the places that require no warrants whatsoever to track your phone are mostly in the deep south: Texas Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. States that have the strongest requirements for getting warrants for cell phone tracking include California, Utah, Montana, Virginia and Massachusetts.

“The status of your privacy protections depends on where you are,” the ACLU comments. “For example, your location information is protected in Montana, but not in Georgia. In Illinois, police need a warrant to know where you are right now, but not where you were last week. In California, your location information is protected against warrantless search by state and local police, but not by federal authorities. In other states, we’re still waiting for rulings, and in Florida, state and federal courts are at odds on the matter.”

To see more details about each state’s policies, check out the ACLU’s full interactive map here.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.