WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Police must obtain warrants before using GPS technology to track suspects for long periods of time, a U.S. appeals court in Washington said.
The Washington court disagreed with appeals courts in New York and California, The Washington Post reported. That makes a Supreme Court challenge on Global Positioning Systems almost inevitable.
Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Douglas Ginsburg said Friday that following someone's movements over days or weeks is extremely intrusive. As an example, he said knowing a woman has visited her gynecologist provides little information but knowing the visit was followed by one to a baby store tells a lot.
"A person who knows all of another's travels can deduce whether he is a weekly churchgoer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups -- and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts," Ginsburg said.
The court threw out the drug conviction of Antoine Jones, former owner of a Washington nightclub. Police and the FBI followed Jones via GPS for weeks after a warrant expired.