GPS Tracking and Privacy Rights

Fourth Amendment case on GPS tracking without warrant goes to the Supreme Court.
3:47 | 11/07/11

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Transcript for GPS Tracking and Privacy Rights
Most does use GPS devices whether we know -- not all the time on -- cell phones in our cars but what do you think of police. Using our own GPS devices to track our locations without a warrant. That's the issue and what's being called the most important Fourth Amendment case in front of the Supreme Court in a decade and set to start this week. The American Civil Liberties Union believes tracking citizens with GPS without a warrant is a violation of our rights. Catherine -- is an attorney with the ACLU speech privacy and technology project. And he joins us now with mark Catherine thanks so much for joining us to discuss this very important issue. -- give us a quick overview of the case what happened in US first house. Thanks for having me. There case involves. Decision by the police in Washington DC to attach to GPS device to a person's car and packed them wherever they went. For 28 days without getting a warrant based on probable cause. And this is important cases he mentioned not just because it involves attaching a GP SI -- carpet because today we all carry cell phones which are themselves tracking devices. So this allows -- right -- the current environment there's nothing to just let police from using our own cell phones. RM GPS is in our car to attract us. The question in the case is whether or not doing that violates the Fourth Amendment and what the Supreme Court says it's going to address the question that you just -- and where you go reveals a great deal about you from where you go to church. -- -- go to a gun range who on your friends families and lovers are. And the question is whether or not the police can can follow someone -- all of that information without any approval by judge whatsoever. OK but obviously people are gonna argue that cops these days they need -- whatever they can -- at their disposal. Tracking with GPS is it cheaper form of surveillance. For budget strapped police. Isn't this a great way to stop all to stop crime. No the Fourth Amendment has always -- constraints -- -- where things can do to stop crime in order to protect our privacy. And -- -- the police can't barge into your house without a judge's approval in the form the warrant. They shouldn't be able to -- you wherever you go using highly sophisticated technology with no court supervision. McAfee -- tracking of vehicle in a public road or public parking lot with a GPS. Any different than being followed by a patrol car. It's very different because GPS can track you 24 hours today for long stretches of time. Practically speaking the police can't track you using a patrol car for similar amounts this technology enables very easy surveillance law enforcement can actually sit -- with a laptop. Watch where people go. And that could lead to -- of NASA's tracking of -- type that we just haven't seen before in our history. Well let's talk a little bit about this this -- -- this isn't just about people that are suspected of doing crimes you guys believe this ruling could affect all of us. That's true. The question is whether curious police on the -- track where someone -- with -- court supervision and in an era where basically everyone in the US carries -- -- It shouldn't be that case and a curious police officer and simply obtain tracking information. Without constitutional estate tax but having to prove they have a really good reason to believe that essentials evidence of -- plan. OK so the Supreme Court tackles this issue this week and what is the ACLU hope will be the outcome. We hope that the Supreme Court will decide that the Fourth Amendment requires the government to get a warrant based on probable when Andrew once -- some implication that's the holding that's necessary to prevent Americans from suffering from a massive invasion of their personal privacy in the -- -- pervasive 24 hour surveillance. And while Leno a lot of folks looking very closely at this case this week our thanks to you Catherine -- from the American civil liberties union for -- us. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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