The Supreme Court has ruled that the government usually will need a warrant to collect large amounts of locations data about the customers of cellphone companies.
The ruling, decided 5 to 4, makes a major statement on privacy in the digital age. It will protect “deeply revealing” records associated with 400 million devices. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, writing for the majority, stated that it did not matter whether the records were in the hands of a third party.
Chief Justice Roberts also wrote that the Constitution must take account of vast technological changes. He noted that digital data can provide a much more detailed view of private affairs that would have been impossible to imagine until recently.
In Ruling on Cellphone Location Data, Supreme Court Makes Statement on Digital Privacy, The New York Times, June 22, 2018
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