GPS Tracking Case Goes To Supreme Court
Are GPS Tracking Devices Legal?
With the help of a vehicle tracking system, police were able to gather substantial evidence and build a case against Jones that eventually led to his arrest. Through this modern approach to investigative work, police arrested Jones for possession and intent to distribute over 50 kilograms of cocaine while keeping officer’s out of harms way during the investigative process.
Although this should be a story about intelligent police work that was conducted efficiently and safely without breaking the bank, the story changed dramatically when poor mister Jones felt that police use of tracking systems was a violation of his privacy rights. Backed with support from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other privacy advocate groups, Jones and his team of douche bag lawyers have drained millions of tax dollars to push the case through a long appeals process. However, that appeals process is about to come to an end, as the Supreme Court will now review the case to determine whether or not the use of a personal tracking system by police violated Jones’ 4th amendment rights.
Sadly, this is what has become of America. After receiving valuable information regarding a mass drug distribution ring, police do the right thing and conduct a thorough investigation that results in a criminal being busted with over 50 freaking kilograms of cocaine, but instead people want to complain about the privacy rights of a criminal. What Jones and his team of lawyers are claiming is that the police did not first obtain a warrant before using fleet management style GPS tracking technology to observe the vehicle driving activity of Jones. Therefore, the case should be thrown out. The fact that Jones was in possession of enough cocaine to make Tony Montana jealous should be thrown out. The fact that Jones was actually guilty should be thrown out.
From the police perspective, there is no federal legislation that outlines the appropriate or inappropriate use of GPS geolocational devices, and very few states have ruled on whether or not police have to first obtain a warrant prior to using GPS security products for investigative work. That essentially means that the use of GPS monitoring devices in many states is a gray area, meaning police are not provided with a strict protocol or set of rules when using GPS devices.
Is it illegal to put gps tracking device on car
The laws regarding the use of GPS surveillance devices should be handled at the state level with each state having to make it clear whether police must first obtain a warrant before using GPS monitoring technology. However, since no legislation was in place when police used GPS to observe Jones that does not necessarily mean the police were in the wrong. The police had reasonable cause to suspect Jones was involved in criminal activity, and they acted with the best interest of the community to investigate the matter. Yes it is true that this particular case shows the need for legislators to be more timely in how they draft laws regarding the use of technological products, but the end result was a successful arrest of a individual who was in possession of massive amounts of narcotics. The police used good judgement, and they were rewarded with a good arrest. Jones needs to be held liable for his actions and stop hiding behind a potential loop hole in the law to weasel his way out of the crimes he committed. The Supreme Court should make the law concrete, but at the same time explain that since the police acted in the best interest of the community that Jones still be required to pay his debt to society for his illegal actions.
Source: Computer World