The New Jersey Supreme Court decided unanimously on Thursday that police can’t track suspects by tapping into their cellphone data without first obtaining a warrant — a ruling that some legal experts say will reverberate across the nation.
“This type of issue will play out in many jurisdictions for the simple reason that cellphones are so prevalent in daily life,” said Peter Verniero, a former attorney general and state Supreme Court justice, in Newsmax. “The decision affects just about everybody.”
He also said police have the right to use technology to do their jobs, but “constitutional standards still apply.”
The court’s logic: Cellphone users sign their contracts with reasonable expectation “that their personal information will remain private,” The New York Times reported.
The court considered last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to prevent police from affixing a Global Positioning System to a suspect’s car without first obtaining a warrant. A cellphone is the same as a GPS in that regard, the court said.