by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 3rd 2008 5:51pm
Late last years, the news broke that law enforcement officials had figured out a neat little loophole to obtain location data on you without having to seek a warrant on you using the probable cause standard. Instead, they're seeking warrants not on the individual, but on the companies that may have data on your location, which only requires a magistrate judge's approval, and no showing of probable cause. So, how is this playing out? Well, reader JB points us to the news of a sudden growth in lawsuits where police are using data from GPS units to help convict people based on their location at the time of the crime. Since the police can get that data directly from the company without needing to show probable cause, it's much easier for them to get the data to convict people or push them into plea bargaining. So, while those turn-by-turn directions may be useful, recognize that they may also be used by the police against you in court.
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