Sara Hartley states in her article “If you have a cellphone, you need to read this” (Dec. 1) that the government can track people with their cellphones and you don’t even have to give permission. Defendant Timothy Carpenter was convicted of armed robbery. Police used tracking on Timothy’s cellphone as evidence, but this was before he was arrested or charged. Was this legal? Did the police need a warrant for this type of search?
Obviously, privacy is important for Americans. Is it a violation of the Constitution to track someone’s location without his or her permission or awareness?
Many scholars think it is necessary for the Supreme Court to address this issue and provide more privacy protection for Americans. The Fourth Amendment protects the public from unreasonable search and seizure. The government using cellphones to collect data is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Without permission, tracking cellphones is definitely an "unreasonable search." Why would the government possibly need my location? I have not done any crime that warrants this invasion of privacy. This type of tracking should only be allowed on suspected criminals of terrorism. That is it.
With the case of the suspected armed robber being tracked for 127 days, this seems like a reasonable use of tracking the cellphone. However, without any reasonable suspicion, the government should not be allowed to do this.