US appeals court: Warrants needed for GPS tracking

November 3, 2013 by Maryclaire Dale

A U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia has ruled that police can't routinely put GPS devices on vehicles without search warrants.

The ruling last month comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court said GPS tracking constitutes a police search—but didn't say if police need warrants to use them.

Police put a GPS device under their bumper of three brothers suspected in a series of pharmacy robberies, and soon tracked them to another burglary. They found pills and other property from the pharmacy in the van.

But a federal judge threw out that evidence, and the agreed.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it would be easy for to abuse the practice, because the devices are so cheap. The Justice Department is considering an appeal.

Explore further: Judge allows evidence against man in GPS case

Related Stories

Judge allows evidence against man in GPS case

December 20, 2012

(AP)—A federal judge is allowing prosecutors to use evidence in a drug conspiracy conviction that had been overturned because police used a global positioning system without a warrant.

High court troubled by warrantless GPS tracking (Update)

November 8, 2011

The Supreme Court invoked visions of an all-seeing Big Brother and satellites watching us from above. Then things got personal Tuesday when the justices were told police could slap GPS devices on their cars and track their ...

Recommended for you

US prepares to cede key role for internet

September 29, 2016

The US government is set to cut the final thread of its oversight of the internet, yielding a largely symbolic but nevertheless significant role over the online address system.

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.