Federal Court Rules: Police Need Warrant To Use GPS

Authorities hoping to use tracking devices on suspect vehicles will need a judge’s permission

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Susan Walsh / AP

The Supreme Court, shown Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in Washington.

Police officers aiming to imitate Breaking Bad’s Hank Schrader be warned — authorities will no longer be legally allowed to simply slap a GPS tracking device onto a car of their choosing. According to a report in the Washington Post, a federal court in Philadelphia ruled on Tuesday that law enforcement officials would be required to secure a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a vehicle.

The verdict comes after the defendants in the case U.S. v. Katzin argued that the evidence collected as a result of a GPS unit should be declared inadmissible because authorities had not secured a warrant first. After a district court ruled in favor of the defendants, the government appealed the case, but to no avail.

[Washington Post]