Here are a few summaries of some recent cases on GPS tracking:
- United States v. Gibson, No. 10-15629 (11th Cir. 2013) - Defendant was arguing that certain evidence should have been suppressed at trial because the GPS use violated the Fourth Amendment, but the trial court had held that there was no violation. The 11th held that the defendant did not have standing to challenge the ultimate search and seizure of the vehicle because although he paid the insurance on it and often drove it, he was not the owner, driver, or passenger at the time it was searched. A dissent argued that the defendant was "effectively a co-owner" and had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the vehicle.
- Commonwealth v. Burgos, 2013 PA Super 26 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2013) - Trial court suppressed evidence obtained as a result of GPS monitoring after applying the Supreme Court's decision in Jones. No search warrant had been issued, so the search had been unconstitutional under the application of the "per se unreasonableness" analysis (both probable cause and a warrant are necessary). However, the appeals court held that the search was proper because although there was no search warrant, a court order had been obtained under the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act which allowed the GPS use and was supported by probable cause. Thus, the fact that an actual search warrant was not acquired was irrelevant. The motion to suppress was reversed.
- Commonwealth v. Arthur, 2013 PA Super 28 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2013) - Defendant could not challenge the use of GPS tracking because she did not have standing. "Jones ... did not negate the long-held principle that a defendant must have standing ... and must show some privacy interest." Because she was not the owner or even a passenger, she could challenge the tracking of a co-conspirator's vehicle.