Supreme Court rules warrant needed for GPS tracking

Jan. 23, 2012

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – In its first ever review of GPS tracking, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that police need a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a person’s car.

The opinion was unanimous, although the justices split in their views of how the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to such high-tech tracking.

The case, which during November oral arguments had prompted justices’ references to George Orwell‘s futuristic novel 1984 and to “Big Brother” government, ensures that police cannot use GPS to continuously track a suspect before presenting grounds and obtaining a warrant from a judge.

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