Can the Fourth Amendment protect an individual’s right privacy by preventing the disclosure of her location through cell site location information? Does it currently? Should it? Many court opinions answer these questions in both the affirmative and the negative. The rationale underlying each conclusion is disparate. Some rely on statutory regimes, others rely on the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of reasonableness. However, Cell Site Location Information is a technology that requires uniformity in its interpretation. This note investigates the different interpretations of the Fourth Amendment as it relates to Cell Site Location Information. It explains the technology behind Cell Site Location Information, and then proffers a framework to unify the analysis of whether there is an expectation in Cell Site Location Information by modifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s Katz test. This note does not seek to offer an opinion on whether Cell Site Location Information should be within the zone of reasonable privacy expectations. Instead, the analytical framework internalizes the privacy interests of the individual and the governmental interest in ferreting out crime. It is striking this balance when analyzing these issues that will help the courts to uniformly investigate the privacy implications of Cell Site Location Information.
Jeremy H. D'Amico,
Cellphones, Stingrays, and Searches! An Inquiry into the Legality of Cellular Location Information,
70 U. Miami L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol70/iss4/9