We have been watching the warrantless search cases closely. Yesterday, (August 5, 2015), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was unconstitutional when law enforcement used their cell phone location information without a warrant.
Two defendants were convicted of armed robbery. Some of the evidence presented at their trial included location information from their cell phones. The government obtained the information through a court order, as opposed to a warrant. They appealed the conviction saying the government should not have used the information without a warrant, that the search was a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, and that the court order was insufficient.
Although the Court held that obtaining the location information without a warrant was unconstitutional, it agreed with the lower Court’s decision to allow the evidence in the case because the government relied in good faith on the court orders that were issued to obtain the information.