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Supreme Court Rules: Congress Needs to Bring Privacy Law into 21st Century
Jan 29, 2012 // CNET

Last week's unanimous decision of the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Jones marks a major victory for constitutional rights. Law enforcement can no longer plant GPS tracking devices on vehicles without satisfying the Fourth Amendment, and the Court ensured that the Fourth Amendment provides at least as much privacy protection today as when it was adopted.

Therefore, Congress needs to amend ECPA to ensure that a warrant is required for location data and for stored content regardless of how long it's been held or whether it's been opened. These are two of the four core principles agreed on by the Digital Due Process Coalition, an alliance of advocacy organizations and legal scholars, joined by dozens of leading technology companies and trade associations. As CNET reported:

The relevant question is whether government's surveillance violated a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Court has in the past held that, as soon as you share information with any third party, you've given up any "expectation" of privacy. This means that while the Fourth Amendment applies to digital files on your computer, it may not protect the same file stored on Dropbox or in your Gmail. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor denounced the third-party doctrine as "ill suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks."