While technology – like cell phones, smart phones, lap tops, and navigation devices – continues to make it increasingly easy to track and log the location of nearly every American, federal laws have failed to keep pace, meaning there are no clear rules governing how law enforcement, commercial entities and private citizens can access, use, and sell that data. With this in mind, U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) teamed up to write the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act. The bipartisan legislation creates a legal framework designed to give government agencies, commercial entities and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used.
In January 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement entities using GPS trackers to monitor vehicle movements without a search warrant violates the Fourth Amendment. In response to this ruling, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the GPS Act. Many hope this legislation will proceed through the legislative process and become law. Please continue to visit this webpage for updates on the progress of this legislation.
For more specific information on the GPS Act, to read statements from groups supporting Representative Chaffetz and Senator Wyden's efforts, or for answers to frequently asked questions about geolocation, please read the below documents.