Article from USA Today by Richard Wolf.

WASHINGTON — Timothy Carpenter’s mistake in the armed robberies of cellphone stores in Michigan and Ohio may have been his decision to carry a cellphone.

To obtain Carpenter’s conviction and lengthy prison sentence, police relied on data obtained without a warrant from wireless carriers revealing where he had been over a 127-day period. Courts upheld the search of cell tower records under the theory that people who give information to third parties have no expectation of privacy.

But if that’s the case, privacy groups warn, what about email and text messages, social media communications and intimate photos? What about Internet browsing histories and WebMD medical queries, or books, groceries and drugs bought online? What about today’s “Internet of Things” — Fitbits and medical devices, cameras and security systems, Google Home and Siri?

“This is the most important Fourth Amendment case we’ve seen in a generation,” said Nathan Freed Wessler of the American Civil Liberties Union, who will argue the case in court. A ruling in favor of the government, he said, would “make our lives into an open book.”

Read the entire article in USA Today.

Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons