Senate and House Bills Would Require Police to Obtain Warrant for Location Tracking

March 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced in the Senate and the House today the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, which would require a warrant from a judge based on probable cause before police can track someone using a GPS device or cell phone location data. The American Civil Liberties Union expressed support for the legislation, which was also introduced by Rep. Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Wyden (D-Ore.) last Congress.

"Cell phones are also portable tracking devices, and the law needs to catch up with technology to protect Americans from the indiscriminant use of this type of invasive surveillance," said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel in the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "Police routinely get people's location information with little judicial oversight because Congress has never defined the appropriate checks and balances. Under the GPS Act, all that would change. Police would need to convince a judge that a person is likely engaging in criminal activity before accessing and monitoring someone's location data. Innocent people shouldn't have to sacrifice their privacy in order to have a cell phone."

More information on government location tracking is at: aclu.org/tracked

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