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2012 State of the Mobile Net: Location Tracking by the Government After Jones

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Published on May 7, 2012

2012 State of the Mobile Net Conference
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill

Location Tracking by the Government After Jones: What Jones Tells Us About Mobile Phone and App Tracking

Many legal scholars were stunned when over a month ago the Supreme Court decided in U.S. v. Jones that the Department of Justice had improperly placed a GPS tracking devices on a drug suspect's car without first obtaining a warrant. It was a monumental ruling about the bounds of our constitutional privacy. Yet, the fascinating ruling left many questions unanswered. The next and perhaps most important question is whether the government needs a warrant to obtain our location from cell phone records and other location devices that we already have in our pockets and in our cars. The federal circuit courts are starting to hear cases on that very subject -- which may end up before the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Congress is considering several bills that would more clearly define when and under what circumstances the government could get access to our digital location. We will discuss the implications of the Jones case with the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and where we go from here.

- Sharon Bradford Franklin, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project (moderator)
- Greg Nojeim, Senior Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology
- Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, United States Department of Justice

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