On Thursday the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss a proposed bill to limit location tracking of electronic devices without a warrant, what it’s calling the Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act, or the GPS Act. And ahead of that hearing, University of Pennsylvania professor Matt Blaze submitted written testimony that points out that phone carriers, as well as the law enforcement agencies that they share data with, can now use phones’ proximity to cell towers and other sources of cellular data to track their location as precisely or even more precisely than they can with global positioning satellites.
Good: a ban on collection of data on citizens without a warrant.
Bad: the US Congress making that ban. Congress has authority over the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies, but not state and local police. Congress is violating the Constitution if they do that, not that that’s anything new.
I’d rather see this ban put in place by the Supreme Court, odd though it is for me to take that position.