“You may not realize it, but the cell phone in your pocket creates a time-stamped map of everywhere you go: where you shop, where you receive medical care, and how often you frequent a church, school, or gun range,” Andrew D. Selbst and Julia Ticona write for Wired. “That’s because cell phones automatically connect to the nearest cell phone tower, and by doing so, constantly determine and record the user’s location.”

“Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Carpenter v. United States, a major Fourth Amendment case that questions whether the police can access your phone’s location data without a warrant. The government argues that it should always be entitled to that information, no questions asked, because the 95 percent of American adults who own cell phones choose to give up that information ‘voluntarily,'” Selbst and Ticona write. “Because cell phones transmit that data automatically, however, cell phone users have no choice in revealing their location. Therefore, the only action that could be ‘voluntary’ is owning or using a cell phone.”

“The problem is that cell phones are no longer meaningfully voluntary in modern society. They have become central to society’s basic functions, such as employment, public safety, and government services,” Selbst and Ticona write. “When they hear oral argument this morning, the Supreme Court justices… will have to confront the fact that absent a ruling that requires police departments to obtain warrants to retrieve cell phone location data, cell phones will render our lives involuntarily transparent. At its core, the Carpenter case is about whether Americans’ rights to privacy should turn on whether they “voluntarily” choose to have a cell phone. We hope the Court realizes that it’s really no choice at all.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, hopefully The Supremes get it right and require a warrant for such information. The U.S. Supreme court should block unconstitutional warrantless cellphone tracking.

SEE ALSO:
U.S. Supreme court cellphone warrant case puts free speech – not just privacy – at risk – November 28, 2017
Apple, other tech companies ask Supreme Court to block warrantless cellphone tracking – August 15, 2017
U.S. Supreme Court unanimously bans warrantless cell phone searches – June 25, 2014
As U.S. government discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution – April 7, 2014
Apple to government authorities: ‘Show warrant to get data’ – May 9, 2014
Can U.S. police search your iPhone without a warrant? – April 28, 2014
U.S. court ruling opens phones to warrantless searches – March 1, 2012