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FBI shuts down GPS trackers after privacy ruling

US: A recent ruling on GPS tracking prompted the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to turn off about 3,000 tracking devices, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann. He was addressing the conference, Big Brother in the 21st Century, at the University of San Francisco.

The Supreme Court ruling on US v. Jones, which found that placing a GPS tracker without a warrant constituted an illegal search, has apparently caused a “sea change” in the Bureau, leading it to draft broader guidelines for both GPS device use and related questions regarding the right to privacy.

Although the ruling doesn’t necessarily apply to things like cell phone location tracking or collecting information from other third parties, Weissmann stated, “Even though it is not technically holding, we have to anticipate how it’s going to go down the road.” Unfortunately, the ruling does not mention about digital privacy, though the agency is apparently debating whether opening trash cans constitutes committing trespass.

Source: The Verge