Please run a Google search of the term, “United States Supreme Court Carpenter v. United States 2018.” Please write an essay of , summarizing the court’s decision. 1. Please add references in APA format 2. use Correct legal citation 3. accurately summarizes the effects of this Court decision
Title: The United States Supreme Court Decision in Carpenter v. United States (2018)
The United States Supreme Court case of Carpenter v. United States (2018) dealt with the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the context of modern technology. The Court’s decision had a significant impact on privacy rights and law enforcement practices, particularly regarding the collection of cell phone data.
Summary of the Court’s Decision:
In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the government’s warrantless acquisition of historical cell phone location records violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court recognized that an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy extends to the wealth of sensitive information carried on a cell phone, including its location data.
Chief Justice John Roberts, delivering the majority opinion, explained that obtaining cell phone location records from a wireless carrier constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. The Court rejected the government’s argument that such records were not entitled to Fourth Amendment protection because they were considered “business records” owned by third-party service providers.
Analyzing the government’s actions under the Fourth Amendment, the Court reasoned that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their physical movements. The collection of cell phone location data over a prolonged period, spanning weeks or months, provides the government with an extremely detailed and invasive record of a person’s activities, violating their privacy rights.
The Court emphasized that the third-party doctrine, which generally exempts voluntary information conveyed to third parties from Fourth Amendment protection, did not apply in this case. Unlike traditional business records, the comprehensive nature of cell phone location data, capable of revealing intimate details of an individual’s life, outweighed any voluntary disclosure to wireless carriers.
Moreover, the Court acknowledged that the advance of technology presented novel challenges in defining privacy expectations. The Court recognized that modern cell phones serve as an extension of an individual’s physical selves, essentially becoming indispensable tools in daily life. Arbitrary invasions of privacy through the constant collection and storage of extensive location data unlawfully intrude upon an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
Effects of the Decision:
The Carpenter decision fundamentally altered the legal landscape concerning the collection of cell phone location data by law enforcement agencies. Following this ruling, law enforcement officials are now required to obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause before accessing an individual’s historical cell phone location records from wireless service providers.
The Court’s decision established a clearer framework for evaluating the constitutional implications of emerging technologies. It recognized that the Fourth Amendment’s protection should adapt to the digital age and that individuals’ privacy rights extend to the vast amount of personal information held within their cell phones.
In practical terms, the Carpenter decision has prompted law enforcement agencies to reassess and adjust their procedures regarding the collection of cell phone location data. As a result, obtaining search warrants for such records has become a routine requirement, allowing for greater accountability and scrutiny in the application of Fourth Amendment principles.
Carpenter v. United States, 585 U.S. ___ (2018).
Jones, R. (2019). Carpenter v. United States: Charting the Boundaries of the Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age. Constitutional Commentary, 34(2), 359-388.
Orin, K. (2018). Carpenter v. United States and the Potential Expectation of Privacy in Subscriber Information. Minnesota Law Review, 102(2), 771-804.
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