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Online Extra: Just How Far Will the Supreme Court’s Carpenter Opinion Reverberate?

The ruling restricting the collection of historical cell site location information (CSLI) without a warrant aims to be narrow in scope, but legal experts argue it may have repercussions for years to come.

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States, ruling that the collection of historical cell-site location information (CSLI) during criminal investigation is a search under the Fourth Amendment, was seen as a vindication for those arguing for higher privacy standards. CSLI data allows law enforcement authorities to roughly estimate the location of a cell-phone holder over potentially long periods of time.

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