A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government does not need a warrant to obtain a suspect’s cell-site location data records.
The 9-2 decision (PDF) by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the records of towers that a mobile phone uses to make calls are considered “business records” maintained by a “third party” and are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. That means the government may obtain these records if it believes they are relevant to an investigation.
The case concerns a Florida man, Quartavious Davis, who was sentenced to life in prison for a string of robberies in a prosecution that was built with the suspect’s cell site records.
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