(Bloomberg) — U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed concern about privacy intrusions in the digital age, hinting they may curb the power of law enforcement officials to track people using mobile-phone data.

In a spirited argument that went 20 minutes beyond its scheduled hour on Wednesday, the justices considered requiring prosecutors to get a warrant before obtaining mobile-phone tower records that show a person’s location over the course of weeks or months.
“This is highly personal information,” Justice Stephen Breyer said.
The case could have a far-reaching impact. Prosecutors seek phone-location information from telecommunications companies in tens of thousands of cases a year. More broadly, the court’s decision will help set the rules governing government access to the fast-growing trove of information available on the cloud, including data from virtual assistants, smart thermostats and fitness trackers.
Several justices, including Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, indicated they were concerned about the increasing precision of the phone location data being kept by wireless providers.
“A cell phone can be pinged in your bedroom,” Sotomayor said. “It can be pinged in a doctor’s office.”
Bank Records
But Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy questioned whether location data was any more sensitive than bank records, which the court said in 1976 aren’t protected by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment because they are

 

(Bloomberg) — U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed concern about privacy intrusions in the digital age, hinting they may curb the power of law enforcement officials to track people using mobile-phone data.

In a spirited argument that went 20 minutes beyond its scheduled hour on Wednesday, the justices considered requiring prosecutors to get a warrant before obtaining mobile-phone tower records that show a person’s location over the course of weeks or months.
“This is highly personal information,” Justice Stephen Breyer said.
The case could have a far-reaching impact. Prosecutors seek phone-location information from telecommunications companies in tens of thousands of cases a year. More broadly, the court’s decision will help set the rules governing government access to the fast-growing trove of information available on the cloud, including data from virtual assistants, smart thermostats and fitness trackers.
Several justices, including Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, indicated they were concerned about the increasing precision of the phone location data being kept by wireless providers.
“A cell phone can be pinged in your bedroom,” Sotomayor said. “It can be pinged in a doctor’s office.”
Bank Records
But Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy questioned whether location data was any more sensitive than bank records, which the court said in 1976 aren’t protected by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment because they are

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