govt watching

Inquirer Editorial: Unanswered questions on cellphones, privacy

by Philly.com  |  published on December 3, 2012

In 2011, cellphone providers reported handing 1.3 million requests from law enforcement for data about customers, according to the New York Times.

You might think that police would need a warrant to get at those records.

Not so, at least as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned. Federal courts have yet to stop warrantless cellphone record searches, though cases are pending. The government says you have no expectation of privacy for cellphone calling records, since you’ve already “shared” them with a third party, the cellphone company.

Now, the good news: It’s likely harder for state and local police in this region to do that kind of warrantless fishing.

David Rudovsky, a senior fellow at Penn Law School who specializes in privacy issues, says “so far the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has provided some greater measure of protection for privacy” in this area.

However, Pennsylvania courts have ruled that if someone else is paying for your cellphone, you have no control over who looks at your calling records, so police are free to make use of them.

No comments yet - you can be the first!

Comments are closed.

Do you Love your country but hate your government?

Join your fellow Libertarians who seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others. Join over 500,000 Americans who get their daily dose of minimal government and maximum freedom with The New Liberty Movement.

We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.
View our full privacy policy.