Find My Location – Helpful or Harmful?
Guest post by Makeda Fikremariam
Technology nowadays seems to be following humans into every corner of their lives. Many are introduced with the intent of making lives easier; whether it be to find your car, phone or even yourself. However, a New York Times article revealed another side that not many of us associated with these usually helpful applications. They reported that there are more than 200 apps available that can monitor one’s location and activities. While that doesn’t necessarily seem scary at first, it can be for abuse survivors. This fear was brought to life when Yessenia Suarez and her family were killed by her husband after he discovered her affair through these apps. Unfortunately, there are more cases where these programs have been abused. With technology constantly updating, the courts haven’t been able to keep up with their progress. For lawyers to include such usage as evidence, extensive and expensive training is required for the police departments. To make the inclusion even harder for lawyers, the Supreme Court is determining how easy the information should be accessed. Carpenter v. United States is trying to answer the question of whether obtaining locations without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment which deals with search and seizures. While the case hasn’t been decided yet, trainings are still being issued for lawyers to become more familiar with technology in relation to abuse and stalking.