No Cellphone Privacy
By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Other than the words you speak into it, what else does your cell phone have to say about you?
John McAfee, the creator of the top antivirus software on the market, now sits in a Guatemalan jail cell, after eluding police for three weeks who were pursuing him for questioning in the murder of his neighbor. He was found after analysis of a picture taken of him by a camera crew for Vice.com, whom he had apparently commissioned to document his escape.
“Betcha can’t catch me, coppers!”
Among the legal lessons of this case “don’t brag about how your huge intelligence is what keeps you beyond the clutches of the law” is this: every cell phone has GPS technology on it. And that’s generally good news. Because in case of an accident, you want 911 to find you when you call for help. But know this: A US Court of Appeals ruled just this past year that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy when carrying cell phones, allowing police to track GPS signals without a warrant or probable cause.
That means that neither your superior intelligence nor the law will supersede your cell phone’s location tracking when the police are looking for you.