Several of the largest technology companies in the nation filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to enhance Fourth Amendment protections for consumers by changing the way the amendment is applied to meet the public's expectation of privacy.
Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Verizon, and several other tech companies filed a brief late Monday night in Carpenter v. United States, a case the high court will hear next term regarding the constitutionality of the warrantless search and seizure of cellphone records showing the location and movements of the phone's user.
The tech giants made no explicit statement regarding how they want the case to be decided, but they wrote in their brief that the Supreme Court "should refine the application of certain Fourth Amendment doctrines to ensure that the law realistically engages with Internet-based technologies and with people's expectations of privacy in their digital data."
"The number and variety of organizations and experts filing represent the widespread recognition that your cell phone's location history is your own business, and the government needs to have a good reason to get its hands on it," said Nathan Freed Wessler, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. "In particular, the tech firms are sending a very clear message that the law needs to catch up with the technology that is now an integral part of our everyday lives." The ACLU is one of the groups representing Timothy Carpenter, the petitioner.
No date has yet been set for Carpenter v. United States' oral arguments.