Police across America now can track citizens through their cell phones – without a warrant – despite the Fourth Amendment’s ban on warrantless searches, according to a team of civil-rights lawyers at the Rutherford Institute.
That’s the result of the U.S. Supreme Court deciding not to intervene in a lower court decision that authorized exactly that.
The institute had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Hammond v. U.S. that challenged the tracking of people through their cell phones as unconstitutional.
That tracking can tell police a person’s location with great precision, “whether that person is at home, at the library, a political event, a doctor’s office, etc.,” the organization reported.
“Americans are being swept up into a massive digital data dragnet that does not distinguish between those who are innocent of wrongdoing, suspects, or criminals. Cell phones have become de facto snitches, offering up a steady stream of digital location data on users’ movements and travels,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.
“Added to that, police are tracking people’s movements by way of license plate toll readers; scouring social media posts; triangulating data from cellphone towers and WiFi signals; layering facial recognition software on top of that; and then cross-referencing footage with public social media posts, all in an effort to identify, track and eventually round us up. This is what it means to live in a suspect society,” he said.