In a world full of technology that brings us closer and closer to an Orwellian-type society each day, people are accepting but weary of much of today”s new technology which makes sense when one considers the fact that much of modern technology is based around GPS capabilities and some form of artificial intuition related to it.
Systems such as OnStar have always come under some form of scrutiny due to the constant access to a given vehicles location that it has, but there was some solace in knowing that it was rather un-indictable information in an open court, Well for a brief moment, that may have changed.
Through its denial to hear an appeal (it failed to get a majority vote) in the case of USA v. Pineda-Moreno, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has determined that it is in bounds of our constitution for law-enforcement to sneak under a car parked in a private citizen”s driveway, attach a GPS device thereto, and track the locations of said vehicle – all without a warrant.
Aside from the obvious issues with such a decision, there is a contradiction in jurisprudence, as courts have already determined that a person”s driveway falls under the privilege of curtilage granted to the rest of someone”s home. The court said that the defendant failed to demonstrate why he should expect privacy in his driveway.
Don”t despair. An example of this issue so cut and dry has yet to go before the Supreme Court, and it is my opinion that if this case is cited in future opinions, it will quickly be before the high court, where it will be cleared up. The dissenting judges had the following to say: “I don’t think that most people in the United States would agree with the panel that someone who leaves his car parked in his driveway outside the door of his home invites people to crawl under it and attach a device that will track the vehicle’s every movement and transmit that information to total strangers. There is something creepy and un-American about such clandestine and underhanded behavior.”
– By: Stephen Calogera