May 31 — The government doesn’t need to get a search warrant before it grabs cell tower records kept by mobile phone companies that can be used to track a user’s location, an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled May 31 by a 12-3 vote (United States v. Graham, 2016 BL 171712, 4th Cir., No. 12-4659, 5/31/16, on rehearing in 796 F.3d 332).

The decision is significant because it overturns a panel ruling from last summer that ran contrary to the vast majority of other federal court rulings on this issue.

Individuals don’t enjoy any Fourth Amendment protection for information they voluntarily turn over to third parties, the court said in an opinion by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz.

Source: 4th Cir. Says No Warrant Needed to Get Cell Tower Data