Civil Rights/Law & Technology: Need Warrant to Retrieve Cell Phone Data?

In this hi-tech age where smart phones proliferate throughout the world, it often takes years for our laws to catch up to new technology. A recent cell phone decision of first impressions in the Third Circuit accentuates the struggle between laws and newer technology. In that case (620 F.3d 304;, the court vacated and remanded a lower court decision, holding that a judge may not require the government to prove the high standard of probable cause before compelling service providers to hand over cell phone location records or CSLI  (see pp. 313, 319). Because the judge is allowed the choice to call for a lesser standard than probable cause, this decision has some civil libertarians up in arms, as they see it as another example of the erosion of individual rights.

So what do you think? Do you think a higher standard of proof should automatically exist in order for the government to be able to obtain the cell phone location history of suspects? Or shall a lesser standard suffice?

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