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Congress Must Protect Americans’ Location Privacy

DEEPLINKS BLOG
February 17, 2017

Your smartphone, navigation system, fitness device, and more know where you are most of the time. Law enforcement should need a warrant to access the information these technologies track.

Lawmakers have a chance to create warrant requirements for the sensitive location information collected by your devices.

Sen. Ron Wyden and Reps. Jason Chaffetz and John Conyers reintroduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (H.R. 1062) earlier this week. Congress should quickly move this bill and protect consumers’ privacy from warrantless searches. 

Currently, law enforcement need to obtain a warrant before they can use their own GPS device to track individuals—like by attaching a GPS unit to a suspect’s car—under the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in U.S. v. Jones. But that kind of court oversight is missing when law enforcement goes to a third-party company to get location information or when law enforcement uses devices that mimic cellphone towers and siphon off users’ location information.

Tell Congress to put in place basic and necessary privacy protections for the sensitive location information collected by the devices in your pockets, in your car, and on your wrist.

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