Phone Location Records

We have reached a new frontier in the law. It used to be that whenever a new, instrumental piece of technology was released, the law took many years to incorporate the new technology into written penal codes. However, with the speed at which technology is developed nowadays, the law is forced to adapt much quicker and incorporate all kinds of new devices and abilities of society.

A hot debate in the law today is over the police power to use people’s cell phone location data. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution affords society the right “to be secure in their persons…against unreasonable searches and seizures, [which] shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” Because of this important right, many oppose the government’s ability to locate an individual based on which cell phone tower his or her phone is accessing at any given time. A search warrant may be obtained, but recent cases have suggested that the police do not need these warrants.

Despite many cases being denied in district courts, disallowing these records to be obtained without warrants, a recent case has sparked debate. In United States v. Davis, which rose to the Court of Appeals in the Eleventh Circuit, the court ruled that the phone location records should not require a warrant. In fact, the court decided that since people share their location information with their phone company, they have essentially waived their right to privacy and can no longer expect to avoid having these records seen by government officials.

The case is under heated speculation because of it relied heavily on older cases that may be dated in today’s world, as far as technological advances are concerned, but it leaves the public in a state of limbo in the meantime because privacy is always a major concern for everyone involved.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at

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