FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Autonomous Robots Prevent Crime

Ask The Expert

Stacy Dean Stephens

VP Marketing & Sales

Cobalt Software Platform - Mark43
Mark43's Cobalt software platform unites a set of law enforcement tools securely...

No upcoming webinars scheduled

Top News

Appeals Court: Warrantless Cellphone GPS Tracking Legal

August 16, 2012  | 

CC_Flikr: Dan_H
CC_Flikr: Dan_H

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that law enforcement officers don't need a warrant to track the location of a subject via the GPS data from a cell phone.

The Tuesday ruling came in the case United States v. Skinner in which Melvin Skinner was tracked between Arizona and Tennessee by Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Skinner and his son were arrested at a rest stop near Abilene, Texas, with a motor home filled with over 1,100 pounds of marijuana.

Circuit Judge John M. Rogers said the tracking was legal and in his majority opinion compared it to more traditional tracking methods. The agents didn't attach a tracking device to the vehicle.

"Dogs could not be used to track a fugitive if the fugitive did not know that the dog hounds had his scent," Rogers wrote. "A getaway car could not be identified and followed based on the license plate number if the driver reasonably thought he had gotten away unseen. The recent nature of cell phone location technology does not change this."

Related:

Surveillance Technology: An End to Stakeouts?


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Data-Sharing Website May Speed Response to New Illegal Drugs
The 'NPS Data Hub' will help forensic chemists identify new types of fentanyl and other...
Florida Department Extends Test of Amazon's Facial Recognition Software
The Orlando Police Department plans to continue its test of Amazon's controversial...

Police Magazine