June 22, 2018

Wyden Cheers Supreme Court Decision on Warrantless Government Searches of Americans’ Location Records

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, that requires the government to obtain a warrant before searching Americans’ historical location records:

Today’s ruling strikes a blow against the creeping expansion of government intrusion into the most personal parts of Americans’ lives. The court’s recognition that digital devices can generate ‘near-perfect surveillance’ of a person’s private life is a validation of the vital protections against unreasonable search and seizure provided by our Constitution.

I have argued for years that the sheer volume of information about every single American that is collected by our phones and computers requires a fundamental rethinking of the idea that giving your information to a company means the government can get it too. This ‘third-party doctrine’ is simply out of step with the way we live now. Today’s ruling is another welcome step toward undoing that principle.”

Wyden has led the fight for stronger protections for Americans' rights against unchecked government access to their personal information, and to uphold Fourth Amendment protections. Wyden first introduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act in 2011 to require warrants any time the government accesses Americans’ electronic geolocation information, and set out clear rules for when law-enforcement, businesses and individuals can access use and sell that data.