President Obama in the White House

According to the federal law, even the simplest cell phone must be able to gather user’s location data so that 911 emergency services can react appropriately in case of any emergency. Current Obama administration, nevertheless, wishes to grab this information for its own aims.

 

In accordance with The Washington Times report, the Justice Department has filed a brief at the US Court of Appeals last month. They insisted the authorities had full right to collect tracking data from the cell phone for 60 days without any warrant on the basis of possible cause.

 

By asserting this detailed data is related to the criminal investigation, it is likely that there would be no real limit to the authorities’ access to somebody’s every movement. In the current case, federal agents looked for the movements history of particular clients of T-Mobile carrier and MetroPCS, yet federal magistrate enacted that the authorities’ hunch that those individuals might be engaged in criminal offence was sufficient to deserve release of general subscriber data, such as his or her name and address, yet more convincing evidence has to be met prior to court would force the release of all location data.

United States Court of Appeals

The administration has appealed this judgment to the district court, debating the location data presented third-party important business records which are not a subject to privacy protection at all. The judge decided that this is an absolute violation of the 4th Amendment.

 

The main concern lies in that by giving the authorities access to private location data of any person over the period of two months, it would show full picture of any person’s life. The information could display all friends, political leanings, associates, religious affiliations and hobbies of the person, and even bad habits like gambling. Such delicate data could as effortlessly be misused for blackmailing political foes as it could be utilized to crack organized crime groups.

Police cars

Nevertheless, the opposite side of the argument merits some attention too. There would probably be just few people who would mind having the authorities track those individuals who they think of as a very dangerous to the citizens, such as drug kingpins, sex offenders and suspected terrorists. Still if you want to protect your privacy as a law-abiding citizen, you can prevent Obama Administration from tracking your location via smartphone or any other kind of gadget-embedded GPS tracker.

 

How do you think, will this whole situation with our privacy ever change? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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