Use of Tracking Device

The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the surveillance of activities occurring in public areas. Thus, the United States Supreme Court held in US v. Knotts, 460 US 276 (1983), that the use of an electronic tracking device attached to a vehicle or object carried by the suspect does not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment to the extent that it provides the police with information that could have otherwise been secured by visual surveillance from public places.  The Supreme Court held in US v. Karo, 468 US 705 (1984) that if the device allows the police to monitor activity inside a private place, such as a home, then a Fourth Amendment search occurs and a warrant is required.

 

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