Monday, June 27, 2022
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Cell Ruling Won’t Immediately Impact Local Cases

A Supreme Court ruling on cell phone location data may not effect many cases in the Upper Cumberland.

The Supreme Court recently ruled 5-4 requiring police to acquire a warrant to access and track a criminal’s movements.

District Attorney Bryant Dunaway said the process in acquiring cell location data may take a little longer now that warrants are required.

“You have to lay out a lot of the facts that justify why you want that data, and present that to a judge and get the judge to issue a search warrant,” Dunaway said. “It won’t significantly delay investigations.”

Dunaway said being able to access cell phone location data these days can be crucial in criminal cases.

“People communicate by text message more so today than they do even email or even talking on the phone,” Dunaway said. “Digital data is huge. It’s evidence in a majority of cases, so we deal with it all the time.”

Dunaway said the Supreme Court’s ruling was to be expected after similar decisions regarding cell phone privacy have been made in recent years.

“It was a narrow ruling but it wasn’t really a big surprise to me or anybody else dealing with the cell phone world as we do today,” Dunaway said.

Despite the ruling, authorities are still able to obtain records and respond to emergencies without a warrant.