AT&T: Government may need warrant to obtain location data
AT&T has joined the growing legal conversation around the privacy of location data, stating that federal investigators might be required to obtain a warrant before gathering such data in the future, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
While federal investigators are still required to obtain permission from a judge in order to gather the location data of a cellphone customer, the standard of proof is lower than that of a warrant thanks to a 1970s-era Supreme Court ruling which allows the government to collect phone records without probable cause.
This ruling is what AT&T has taken issue with, stating in a recent court-brief:
While at first this may seem like AT&T has come out in support of customer privacy, it isn't taking a position on whether courts should be required to obtain a warrant, or something less. Instead, it is seeking clarification by higher courts on the types of approval investigators would need to gather cellphone location data.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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