ACLU, public defenders push back against Google giving police your mobile data


The ACLU and eight federal public defenders are asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to exclude mobile device location data obtained from Google via a so-called geofence warrant that helped law enforcement catch a bank robbery suspect.

The first geofence civil rights case to reach a federal court of appeals raises serious Fourth Amendment concerns against unreasonable search and seizure related to the location and personal information of mobile device users.

Geofence warrants have primarily been issued for Google to hand over data about every cell phone or other mobile device within a specific geographical region and timeframe. The problem: location data on every person carrying a mobile device in that area is scooped up in a wide net and their data is then handed over en masse to law enforcement.

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