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The legality of location tracking

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Location tracking utilizes mobile data and the location information provided via mobile applications to find individuals accused of a crime. This practice could lend itself to be unconstitutional, however, and maybe even illegal according to some professionals. It is important to understand the legality of this matter.

How does location tracking work?

One of the mobile applications that police use when engaging in location tracking is Google Maps. Location information stays on the app for up to 18 months unless you delete it. Police use this stored data to determine a suspect for a crime or to determine where to serve a warrant.

How is this unconstitutional?

Police use the data they receive to eventually narrow down their search in which they can ask Google for specific names and locations. This goes against the Fourth Amendment, however, which states that only a “particular” person may receive a warrant.

Some police have used this data to find history on suspects within a 100-mile radius. In order for this to be legal, police should search specific cellphone towers and specific locations.

Has anything bad occurred?

Due to the lack of particularities, reverse warrants create innocent arrests. One person in Arizona spent almost a week in jail although he was innocent. This proves that reverse warrants are not only unconstitutional, but they are also not accurate and possibly even illegal.

You may wrongly have an arrest warrant served to you through location tracking. You might also be put in jail due to location tracking. If this is your case, you may want to contact a criminal law attorney to understand your rights.


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