Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hot Topic: Another Note on GPS Tracking.

Another law student has written a Note about GPS tracking.  This article is from the Fordham Law Review.  It was written by Kaitlyn Kerrane and titled:  Note: Keeping Up With Officer Jones: A Comprehensive Look at the Fourth Amendment and GPS Surveillance.

This Note concludes that “a reasonable expectation of privacy exists in both the installation and monitoring of a GPS unit in light of several considerations: property interests, public exposure, the nature of the police intrusion, and the type and quantity of information obtained.” 

The author notes that in Knotts, the Court did not consider the quantity of information obtained through the use of a tracking device.  In noting that some courts have “disregard[ed] the increased intrusiveness of GPS technology compared to the older beeper technology” the author may be seeking too broad a rule.  It is possible, for example, to use a GPS device to conduct discrete and limited monitoring.  This likely, in my view, does not implicate the Fourth Amendment.  It is only when the law enforcement uses GPS over an extended of time that the privacy interests of the subjects are impacted.  

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