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>> The US Supreme Court on Friday put broad new limits on the ability of police to use cell phone location data to track criminal suspects. In a five four decision, the court said police generally need to get a warrant to track someone's movements based on cell data, a victory for digital privacy advocates.
Until now, police have routinely obtained such data from wireless carriers without a warrant. But the court ruled that amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The ruling stems from a case involving a man who was convicted in several armed robberies with the help of cell phone location data that linked him to the crime scenes.
Correspondent Lawrence Hurley is following developments.>> This is a significant ruling because it's the latest in a long line of cases now in which the Supreme Court has curbed the ability of police to access certain information as technology changes, in an era where now everyone has a cell phone.
The Court ruling is somewhat limited though because the Court said this just about historic cell phone location information. It doesn't even affect real-time cell phone location information, which could come up to the Court in a different case.>> Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the decision, said it has no bearing on traditional surveillance techniques, such as security cameras or on data collection for national security.
It also allows police to obtain cell data without a warrant in emergency situations.