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Should Probable Cause Be Required for Police to Use Cell Phone Location Data?

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:


The Arguments

#2
77 Pts
The GPS Act Supports Legitimate Investigations and Protects Privacy

Yes – The GPS Act Supports Legitimate Investigations and Protects Privacy

Catherine Crump Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project

#4
68 Pts
Without Regulation, GPS Technology Easily Abused by Authorities

Yes – Without Regulation, GPS Technology Easily Abused by Authorities

Jennifer S. Granick Director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society

#5
-78 Pts
GPS Act Should Make Getting a Geolocation Warrant Easier

No – GPS Act Should Make Getting a Geolocation Warrant Easier

Trey Gowdy U.S. Representative from South Carolina

#6
-82 Pts
Requiring Warrants for Geolocation Data Will Impede Law Enforcement

No – Requiring Warrants for Geolocation Data Will Impede Law Enforcement

Joseph I. Cassilly Former President of the National District Attorneys Association


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