Government Allows Warrant-less GPS Tracking in Nine States
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that the government can legally attach GPS tracking devices to vehicles without a warrant in nine states. This court decision involves the monitoring of vehicles that are currently sitting on a person's driveway. The court based its decision on a recent drug case that included the tracking of a suspected drug trafficker.
Police attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno. Police arrested Moreno once GPS tracking evidence proved that Moreno was growing marijuana. After Moreno visiting a Home Depot store in order to purchase items used for growing marijuana, police decided to follow him more closely. In order to obtain this information, police placed a small GPS tracker on Moreno's car one morning. Moreno's car was parked in his driveway at the time.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that since Moreno did not put up "no trespassing" signs and did not have a private gate, tracking Moreno's car was legal and warranted. Further, the court ruled that a GPS tracking device could be legally placed underneath a person's vehicle, but could not be placed in plain sight.
If you are confused by this ruling, you are not alone. Many people throughout the nation were shocked when this latest ruling was handed down. While some people believe that suspected criminals should be arrested under any circumstance, others believe that the warrant-less use of GPS tracking technology is a clear violation of a person's rights. Whether or not your car is parked on your driveway is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether or not you have a private fence protecting your property. This, according to the court, would prevent police from attaching a GPS tracker to your vehicle.
Police departments across the world are currently using GPS tracking devices in order to watch and monitor criminals. Many police officers have reported that this technology makes police work a lot easier. In the case of Juan Pineda-Moreno, police would not have been able to arrest him without the help of a discretely placed GPS tracking device.