Privacy of Phone Data Protected by Court Ruling

On October 16, the Florida Supreme Court overturned a conviction made by tracking a cell phone user’s location. At the time of his arrest in Broward County, the man had $23,000 in cash and a kilogram of cocaine on his person. Though the Broward Sheriff’s office had a search warrant, the primary issue in dispute concerned the fact that the police were tracking the man’s movements.

According to the Court, evidence gathered by tracking cell phone movement could not be used on account of his Fourth Amendment right to privacy. The man, said the justices, was right to expect privacy in personal use of his cell phone, especially since data concerning his location was required for the intended use of the phone. Furthermore, police had no right to use location data in his arrest because the warrant only allowed officers to obtain contact numbers transmitted to and from the phone.

This marks the second recent case that has been dismissed on account of an unwarranted use of cell phone data. The other case, ultimately handled by the Eleventh U.S. Court of Appeals, ruled that gathering data from past uses of a phone without a warrant is unconstitutional. Again, the case boiled down to the right to expect privacy while using a phone.

Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

As a former prosecutor with over 15 years of experience, including trying serious sexual assault and battery charges, Attorney Herman knows the complex issues involved which may include potential false accusations and strict sentencing requirements and he will use his experience to protect your rights under the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – we are on your side!