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What To Watch As Supreme Court Tackles Location Privacy

Publisher: Law360
November 22, 2017

Jed Davis was quoted in an article, "What To Watch As Supreme Court Tackles Location Privacy," published in Law360. The article discusses Carpenter v. U.S., a case before the Supreme Court examining constitutional limits on law enforcement access to cell-site data that carriers generate in the course of serving subscribers, and focuses on what to watch for in an oral argument. The case raises important issues about the reach of the 4th Amendment and the vitality of the third party doctrine in the Information Age. Davis, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney for nearly a decade and represented the government in the first types of these cases, emphasized that the justices will raise questions about the balance between allowing law enforcement access to historical location records and the privacy interests individuals have in this data. However, he quickly noted that the questions the justices ask don't always indicate how they'll actually rule. Davis told Law360, "Pressing hard on an issue that cuts against the way they might like to decide is the way judges and good lawyers get to the heart of arguments on both sides and help them resolve in their minds whether they're correctly thinking about the issue." He added that one indication that the justices may be leaning toward finding the third party doctrine to be sufficient would be if a question is posed about why it shouldn't fall to Congress to address the proper standard for law enforcement access to this historical information.


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