Cell Phones DO NOT Have Privacy Rights!... D.O.J.

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/20/2010 - 2:27am.

The Justice Department went to court last week in a dispute over mobile devices that may become a major constitutional test for 21st century technology. The government told the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals that the users of handheld and mobile devices don't have a constitutional right to privacy. 

Lawyers argued that cops should be able to acquire "routine business records" held by a "communications service provider."

It is the first federal appeals court to consider warrantless location tracking, which raises the question about whether Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy for their cell phones' location. It is a case likely to wind up at the U.S. Supreme Court after the appeals court hands down its decision.

The Obama administration argues that no search warrant is needed. A law enforcement agency just needs to show that the records are "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation." But civil liberties groups oppose that idea.

"When the government acquires historical cell location information, it effectively commandeers our cell phones and turns them into electronic trackers that report, without our knowledge or consent, where we have been and how long we have been there," Susan Freiwald, a law professor at the University of San Francisco argued to the appeals court. "We should be able to use our cell phones without them creating a virtual map of our every movement and association."

Freiwald says civil liberties groups aren't opposed to the government obtaining the information for legitimate purposes--as long as federal privacy laws are followed. However, she says, this is "a truly novel technology that can invade the privacy of all Americans who carry cell phones in their pockets or purses."

For more on cell phones and privacy:
- see this cnet.com article [1]

Related Articles:
Tech gadgets can violate privacy [2]
FTC asks Silicon Valley to better police privacy [3]

February 13, 2010 - source FierceGovernmentIT 

[1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10453214-38.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/20/2010 - 2:27am.