New York Police Can Use GPS Devices


A New York State Judge recently ruled that a cell phone user has no reasonable expectation of privacy and the 4th Amendment right of privacy was not violated by the police’s pinging the GPS device in the defendant’s cell phone. Judge John L. DeMarco decision and order in the case of The People of State of New York v. Devonte Moorer included the following:

People are not so oblivious that they are not aware that cell phones purchased today come with GPS technology which can pinpoint the location of the phone at any given time so long as it is turned on and the GPS technology has not been deactivated or disabled,...That technology also enables a person to be mobile and have constant access to and use of his cell phone.

The New York Law Journal reported that “the case involved the fatal stabbing of Calvin Reid in Rochester on June 26, 2011, and authorities’ efforts to track down suspect Devonte Moorer and collect evidence linking him to the slaying. Reid’s fatal stabbing on a Rochester street corner was also captured on a security camera.”

Given the use of cell and tablets with GPS devices surely we will see more court rulings like Judge DeMarco’s and it will be interesting to see what, if any, appellate rulings interpret this case.

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