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Judge: Use of GPS data in robbery case unconstitutional

The map on the phone in the background of the dashboard. Black mobile phone with map gps navigation fixed in the mounting. App map for travel.

CHICAGO – A federal judge has ruled that suburban Chicago police violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches by accessing weeks of GPS data indicating a suspect’s car had been outside a jewelry store when it was robbed.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman granted a motion by defendant Tobias Diggs to bar the location data compiled by Hinsdale police from his upcoming trial.

Prosecutors had cited a Supreme Court ruling that people don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy when they voluntarily provide data to a third party. But Feinerman said that doesn’t apply to weeks of minute-by-minute location information kept by wireless carriers.

Diggs’ lawyer, Douglas E. Whitney, said he was grateful for what he called Feinerman’s “meticulous legal analysis.”

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