Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Google Geofence Warrant Use Upheld in Bank Robbery Conviction

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A split Fourth Circuit panel blessed the government’s use of mobile-device location data to help secure a guilty plea in a bank robbery case, finding it didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment.

Because Okello Chatrie “voluntarily exposed” his location information to Google, Judge Julius N. Richardson wrote for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Tuesday’s opinion, “the government did not conduct a Fourth Amendment search when it obtained two hours’ worth of Chatrie’s location information” from the tech giant through what’s called a geofence warrant, which seeks information for all users within a geographic area …

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