Tracking violates 4th Amendment

The Supreme Court ruled against tracking GPS devices without a warrant.

Daily Editorial Board

For nearly a month, Antoine Jones unwittingly drove his SUV with a police monitored GPS device attached. Though Jones was caught dealing drugs, his conviction has now been overturned because Washington D.C. police forgot to do one thing: Get a warrant.
After a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices, though divided by the reasoning, found themselves united by the outcome declaring that the placement of such devices without a warrant was a violation of the Fourth Amendment under the U.S. Constitution.
As civil rights activists saluted the high courtâÄôs ruling, the case underscores the ever growing intrusion of tracking technology on the lives of American citizens. Whether it be the tracking through GPS enabled devices like smartphones or the increasing use of military designed Predator drones on U.S. soil, this decision is but a nudge in terms of protecting Americans from overreaching law enforcement in this post 9/11 era.
The modern mentality of increased security and safety concerns has altered the legal fabric and pushed traditional boundaries for what Justice John Harlan once called a âÄúreasonable expectation of privacy.âÄù
Though Jones is indeed a criminal, this expectation of privacy also exists for cases such as the wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the tracking of liberal activists during the Richard Nixon years. Such cases highlight the need for legal protections to keep up with advanced technology and continued vigilance concerning privacy rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck a blow to those wishing to trade liberty for safety. It is a decision to be hailed as a step in the right direction.