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Prof. Ferguson and the Future of the Fourth Amendment

Thursday, August 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Looney
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UDC Law Professor Andrew G. Ferguson

UDC Law Professor Andrew G. Ferguson and 41 scholars in criminal procedure and privacy law filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court regarding an upcoming Fourth Amendment case that could greatly impact surveillance law. In the brief, the law professors argue that Carpenter v. United States presents the Court “an opportunity to reconsider the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.” Carpenter focuses on whether law enforcement officials can collect third-party cell site location information (CSLI) to identify suspects without a warrant. 

In a Crime Report article on cell phone privacy, Prof. Ferguson discussed the potential effects of Carpenter on the “future of a data-driven third party mediated age.” In addition, Prof. Ferguson said in a Washington Times piece that two briefs related to Carpenter—Ferguson’s and another put forth by a number of major tech companies—point to the critical importance of the upcoming Supreme Court case to the future of the Fourth Amendment. The Court is set to hear Carpenter in the fall.

Ferguson is fast emerging as a national expert on Fourth Amendment issues in the digital age. In late July, he discussed smart devices and privacy in a Rolling Stone Magazine article and a WBAL-TV investigative report on automated license plate readers. Ferguson also spoke to US News & World Report about predictive policing earlier this month. In October, Ferguson’s new book on big data policing will be released. The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement offers “an examination of how new technologies will alter the who, where, when and how we police” and will be the first book on big data policing. 

Order The Rise of Big Data Policing from NYU Press.

Follow Carpenter v. United States on ScotusBlog


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