The installation of a GPS tracking device onto a suspect’s car constitutes a search — and therefore requires a warrant — the Supreme Court unanimously held on Monday morning. The justices, however, employed radically different rationales to come to their answer, leaving unsettled the question of how much protection one may expect from the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.
I’ve been following this case very closely; with the increasing reach of technology in our everyday lives, I’m very proud to see that the Supreme Court has overturned the absurd decision of the state courts that police investigators could esssentially ‘bug’ a person’s location via a GPS device, without their knowledge, or any legally sustainaible probable cause.
Had this ruling been upheld, we’d be one step closer to a Minority Report-like future, where our devices could at any moment be used against us, which would inevitably stifle both adoption of technology, and innovation across the industry.
It also affirms that the land’s highest Court is still more in-touch with technology than our own Representatives, a trend which I find both uplifting and terrifying. It’s clear to me, that the for-life appointment term reduces the power lobbyists and 3rd party monies can have on the legal system, which allows them not to be swayed by public opinion or extra-judicial concerns, like our Representatives clearly are. Hopefully some day soon, our own elected officials will be held to a similar standard.