Many of our readers have expressed concern over the unwarranted use of GPS devices and the 'Big Brother' paranoia such surveillance creates, while others have argued that these tactics could be of great assistance to law enforcement. How do you feel about the Supreme Court ruling? Sound off in comments.
Have you ever been driving along when suddenly you get the sense that you're being followed?
Over-the-counter GPS tracking products are being put into cars by everyone from the FBI to car dealers and finance companies to cuckolded husbands, and wives who suspect their husbands of cheating. Don't get us wrong--we're all for equipping our law enforcement agencies with the latest technology to catch the bad guys, but we also value our constitutional rights to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizure. And, frankly, the notion of being unwittingly monitored by anyone with the means to a GPS tracking device and access to your ride is just plain creepy.
We're not the only ones who feel conflicted. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an Obama Administration appeal of the overturned ruling in the case of Antoine Jones. In 2008 Jones was convicted of operating a cocaine ring based on evidence gathered via a GPS device that police used to track his Jeep. A federal appeals court dismissed the conviction, arguing that police had violated Jones' 4th Amendment rights by installing the device without a search warrant. There are similar cases, however, that have upheld evidence gathered during unwarranted GPS tracking on the basis that citizens cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy when driving or parking their vehicles in public.
Whatever the Supreme Court decides will likely be the final word on warrantless GPS tracking, but in the meantime, if you think your car is being tracked you might want to check for the device in these places: