9-0 decision holds that the Government cannot attach a GPS devise to a
vehicle to obtain travel information of vehicles whereabouts.  The court
in holding the GPS as an unreasonable search relied heavily upon the 4th
Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.  This case is
the first dealing with GPS information that holds it was unreasonable
for the government to trespass upon the defendant’s vehicle.  The
Court’s reliance on common law trespass leaves many unanswered issues. 
There are increasingly advanced technologies that do not require any
physical trespass yet provide information to the government.  The long
term effect of the Jones decision remains to be seen.  What about
satellites, drones, cell phones, security cameras, micro chips none of
which require any physical trespass?
It will be interesting to see.  This decision is a positive development for the 4th
Amendment and bodes positively as it seems to indicate that at the
Supreme Court there are limits to government action.  However, the
reasoning may enable the government to side step the issue in the future
with advanced technology that doesn’t require any physical trespass.

The Decision

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