Location Tracking

Following Texas’s Lead on Location Tracking

Following Texas’s Lead on Location Tracking

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 4:21pm
Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives passed the first bill in the nation that would require law enforcement to obtain a probable cause warrant before tracking individuals’ location by collecting their cell phone location data. As Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas put it, “By approving this amendment, our legislators would take a significant step to preserve the Fourth Amendment rights of Texas citizens, protecting them from potential unreasonable searches and seizures that could take place entirely outside judicial review.” They would also set a precedent that the rest of the country should be quick to follow.
The House Hearing on Location Tracking Law (or the Lack Thereof)

The House Hearing on Location Tracking Law (or the Lack Thereof)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:44pm

My colleague Catherine Crump testified before Congress today on location tracking and privacy, and the GPS Act that would increase legal protections for our location data. The hearing was before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and you can read her written testimony submitted here.

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (D-Wis.), is a strong supporter of updating the law. He opened the hearing by acknowledging that the law has not kept pace with new technology—certainly a truism, and certainly true with regards to location tracking in particular, but one that is good to hear accepted as fact by powerful lawmakers.

Sensenbrenner also slammed the Justice Department for not sending a witness to the hearing. The reason, he reported, is that “it lacks a clear policy position on ECPA,” referring to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. When Sensenbrenner was reading Catherine’s bio, which included mention of her efforts to find out how the DOJ is interpreting

Police “Google Searches” Through Our Location History? No Thanks

Police “Google Searches” Through Our Location History? No Thanks

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 3:24pm

Imagine a searchable database that would enable police or federal agents to instantly track everywhere you’ve ever driven in your car, like a “Google search” of your location over a period of months or even years. According to a law enforcement…

What We Know About License Plate Tracking, What We Don't, And Our Plan to Find Out More

What We Know About License Plate Tracking, What We Don't, And Our Plan to Find Out More

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 12:31pm

Today the ACLU is launching a nationwide effort to find out more about automatic license plate readers (ALPR). By snapping photographs of each license plate they encounter—up to three thousand per minute—and retaining records of who was…

ACLU Files Brief Opposing Warrantless GPS Searches

ACLU Files Brief Opposing Warrantless GPS Searches

By Andrew Crocker, ACLU Intern / Harvard Law School Class of 2013 at 11:09am

(Updated below)

In 2010, the FBI attached a GPS device to the car of a man named Fred Robinson and continuously monitored his whereabouts for nearly two months—all without getting a warrant. Now Robinson is on trial, and on Friday, the ACLU…

Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers

Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:56am

Wow.  Sometimes one word says it all.  The New York Times reports that in response to letters from Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), mobile phone providers disclosed that they received approximately 1.3 million law enforcement…

In Congress Today: Testifying in Support of Geo-Privacy

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:23pm

Today I testified before the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee in support of the Geolocational Privacy Surveillance Act, a law that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant based upon probable cause before…

The Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

The Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 1:38pm

The ACLU has released the results of our public records requests to hundreds of police departments asking about their cell phone tracking policies. What we have learned is disturbing.

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:59am

It's time for Congress to catch up with new technology and support the GPS Act!

It Sure Sounds Like the NSA Is Tracking Our Locations

It Sure Sounds Like the NSA Is Tracking Our Locations

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:36pm

The drumbeat of “non-denial denials” is getting louder as the NSA continues to refuse to directly state whether it is using cell phone information to track Americans’ whereabouts. When NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander was asked again about…

Statistics image