No warrant needed to get cell phone location: US court

A court ruling allows police to obtain location data from cellular carriers with a court order, with a lower standard than a warrant Police don’t need a warrant to obtain mobile phone location data for a criminal investigation, a US appeals court ruled Tuesday in a case closely watched for digital-era privacy implications. The case decided by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia is among several pending in the courts on “location privacy,” or whether using the digital data violates constitutional guarantees against unreasonable searches. The case, which could still be appealed to the Supreme Court, represents a setback for a coalition of groups fighting for a right to location privacy, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Gun Owners of America and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

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