In the first appellate ruling on a cutting-edge privacy issue, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declared that cell phone location data may trigger Fourth Amendment concerns and that prosecutors demanding access to such records may be required at times to satisfy a probable cause standard. The ruling is a setback for the Justice Department, but it also reverses a decision by a Pennsylvania federal court, which had ruled that prosecutors must always show probable cause to access such cell phone data.
3rd Circuit: Probable Cause May Be Needed for Cell Phone Location Data
The Legal Intelligencer
September 8, 2010