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IPFS News Link • Courtroom and Trials

Cops Need a Warrant to Access Your Car's Data, Court Rules

•, By Karl Bode

In a landmark decision, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement must obtain a warrant before they can access navigation, engine, and other data stored in your car's computer systems.

The court's ruling is the first time a state Supreme Court has recognized the potential danger to privacy and constitutional rights created by allowing access to car data without judicial oversight.

In the modern era, data collected by your car now provides a treasure trove of information about your daily habits. Your commute, your driving tendencies, cell phone contacts, even your Spotify playlists create an ocean of information that's collected, "anonymized" and sold to any number of interested parties—ranging from city planners to the marketing sector.

That data also creates a wonderful target for law enforcement and the potential for abuse when judicial oversight is eliminated from the equation. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has long argued that the Fourth Amendment protects US residents against unjustified access by law enforcement looking for access to this data.