December 13, 2017

Privacy: Supreme Court Frets Over Erosion of Privacy in Digital Age

UPDATE December 1, 2017 Audio Recording Of Oral Argument Now Available (via Oyez)

UPDATE: Transcript of November 29, 2017 Oral Argument Before U.S. Supreme Court Now Available

From the AP:

Worried about the erosion of privacy amid technological advances, the Supreme Court signaled Wednesday it might restrain the government’s ability to track Americans’ movements through collection of their cellphone information.

The justices heard a case in which the government obtained 127 days of cellphone tower information, without a search warrant, that allowed it to place a criminal suspect in the vicinity of robberies. But underlying the 80-minute argument was unease about how easy it has become to track so many aspects of American lives — and the expectation that new advances would only make things easier.

“Most Americans, I think, still want to avoid Big Brother,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, adding that Americans take their phones with them to dressing rooms, bathrooms and bed.

Chief Justice John Roberts, reprising a line from an earlier opinion, noted that having a cellphone these days is a matter of necessity, not choice.

With those devices, Justice Elena Kagan said, authorities have the ability to do “24/7 tracking.” And the accuracy of cell tower location information also has improved from a vicinity of 10 football fields to half the size of the courtroom in which the argument was occurring, she said.

Read the Complete Article

Additional Coverage

“Argument Analysis: Drawing a Line on Privacy for Cellphone Records, But Where?” (via SCOTUSblog)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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