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‘Geofence warrant’ unconstitutional, judge rules in Virginia

(FILE)
(FILE)(Source: Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 9:03 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a warrant that used Google location history to find people near the scene of a 2019 bank robbery violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

Privacy experts say the ruling could make it more difficult for police to use an investigative technique that has exploded in popularity in recent years.

The decision came in a closely watched case in which the robbery suspect argued that the use of a “geofence warrant” violated the Fourth Amendment.

Geofence warrants seek location data for every person located in a specific area who is using a cellphone or other electronic device that has location history enabled.

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