The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a huge decision in favor of privacy rights in America. On Tuesday, the court confirmed in United States v. Katzin that federal authorities must get a probable cause-driven warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car.
Of course, the circumstances of this case may sound familiar. Indeed, the Supreme Court decided in January 2012 in the United States v. Jones case that attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car without a warrant constituted unreasonable search and seizure. In the wake of that decision, the FBI turned off 3,000 such tracking devices. However, the Jones case did not provide a clear-cut ruling on whether a lower legal standard could conceivably apply. In the new case, Katzin, the court definitively answered that with a resounding no.