Judge dismisses evidence in GPS tracking case

US Police car
Image: iCar CC-BY-NC-ND

Evidence gathered by police who illegally tracked a car using a GPS device cannot be used in court, a judge in the US has has ruled.Authorities in Kentucky attached a GPS tracking device to Robert Lee’s car without obtaining a warrant, then noticed that he made multiple trips between Chicago and London, Kentucky. They found 150 pounds of marijuana in his car when they stopped him on the pretext of driving without a seatbelt.

The judge ruled that police had used the GPS tracker as part of a “fishing” exercise, that Lee’s journeys to Chicago were not sufficient to suspect involvement in crime, and that the surveillance and search therefore broke Lee’s constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has previously stated that police need a warrant to use GPS trackers.

GPS and other surveillance technologies such as RFID tags are causing increasing privacy concerns as their falling size allows them to be easily hidden.

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