Skip to main content

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide a critical cellphone privacy case

mobile broadband
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The highest court in the land will weigh in on whether or not the government must have a warrant in order to determine where you are based on your cellphone data. On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Carpenter v. United States, a case which deals with historical data from cellphone companies that displays users’ movements, and could either implicate or exonerate users in a crime.

The current case concerns a man who has been convicted in a number of  armed robberies in Ohio and Michigan. His conviction, however, was secured with cellphone location data, and his lawyers say that without a warrant, access to this data constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Lower courts who have heard the case have ruled that the government does not, in fact, need a warrant to obtain this historical cellphone data, as such information was already willingly surrendered to a third party (the cellphone company).

But while this precedent has stood in years past, scrutiny of privacy rights, especially with the rise of connected devices like smartphones, has increased. And as such, it could be the case that the Supreme Court decides against lower court rulings.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
You can soon take your Amazon returns to any Kohl’s store across the U.S.
kohls pay app 56612369 l

If you live near a Kohl’s store, then returning an Amazon package is about to get a little easier.

Starting in July, all 1,150 Kohl’s locations across 48 states will begin accepting returns for free, expanding a program that launched in 2017 with 82 stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Read more
I compared two of the year’s best phones in an extreme camera test
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's rear panels.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple versus Samsung is perhaps the ultimate battle in smartphones, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra are the two brand’s top devices. If you want one, you may have also looked at the other, and even if not, who doesn’t want to see a tough camera battle between these two heavyweights?

Read more
reMarkable 2 digital notebook just got a rare discount
A person using the reMarkable 2 to take notes.

The reMarkable 2, a tablet that mimics the feel of writing and reading on paper, is available from Best Buy right now with a rare $50 discount on a bundle that includes the Marker Plus writing instrument and the Book Folio case. Instead of $550, you'll only have to pay $500, which is still fairly expensive but it's very much worth it. We're not sure how much time is remaining on the offer though, so if you think this will be a better purchase than other tablet deals, you should push through with the transaction as soon as possible.

Why you should buy the reMarkable 2 paper tablet
The reMarkable 2, the successor to 2017's reMarkable, improves upon the premise of the original version of the tablet -- it's like a pen and paper with smart capabilities. There's no backlight or glare on the display of this device for an eye-friendly reading experience, much like reading from real paper, and there are no distractions so you can focus on your work. In comparison, using a stylus on a tablet feels unnatural because of the friction-less glass, while the bright screen will strain your eyes and the notifications from your apps will keep distracting you.

Read more