Should Probable Cause Be Required for Police to Use Cell Phone Location Data?
The Geolocational Surveillance and Privacy Act, or GPS Act, seeks to address concerns of the use by law enforcement of an individual's location data from cell phones, GPS services, and other devices. The bill requires that authorities acquire a search warrant before intercepting such information to track an individual's location, or face up to five years in jail. Proponents of the law say that the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from "unreasonable search and seizures," dictates that authorities must prove probable cause before using an individual's geolocation data. Opponents say legislators should be making it easier for law enforcement to catch criminals, not more difficult, as they assert the GPS Act would. Is probable cause necessary for geolocation data? Here is the Debate Club's Take: