AZ Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant To Use GPS Tracking

Published: Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 5:05am

The Arizona Supreme Court says police cannot put a GPS device onto a vehicle to track its movement without a warrant. That’s according to a new precedent setting decision surrounding the right of privacy.

The case began when officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety ran a records check on a suspicious vehicle. After finding the truck was reported stolen, the officers installed a GPS tracking device on the vehicle without obtaining a warrant because they suspected it was being used to transport drugs.

An attorney defending one of the truck drivers argued the drugs that were found inside the vehicle should not be used to convict his client because of the warrantless use of GPS tracking. While a majority of justices agreed police did violate the driver’s right to privacy, his conviction still stands.

As for the three dissenting justices, they dismissed concerns about privacy invasions because the device was used on public roads where the truck was plainly visible to anyone.

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