Home News Geospatial tech testing the Fourth Amendment!

Geospatial tech testing the Fourth Amendment!

US: The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects against “unreasonable searches and seizures” – but what does that mean when it comes to techniques that use technology rather than a physical search that is easy to see? The issue of technological searches inside homes is a question, raised in the US District Court for the District of Arizona. In that case, federal investigators used a device called a “stingray” to locate a mobile broadband card inside an apartment building.
Whether the activity is being observed by the technology is outside or inside a person’s house. Courts have consistently ruled, for example, that the use of a GPS device to track people outside their home is not a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. The idea here is that if people are doing things in public, they don’t have much expectation of privacy. A similar argument could extend to the use of cellular signals to track people via their phones outside their home. Inside a home, though, things are different. The first part of the Fourth Amendment gives people the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.”
In a case in 2001, the Supreme Court said that the use of a thermal imaging device that detected large amounts of heat radiating from a garage constituted a Fourth Amendment search. This was despite the fact that the device was used only outside the house and detected only heat that was emanating through the walls.
Source: WSJ