The ACLU of Massachusetts, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (MACDL), filed a supporting brief in Commonwealth v. Almonor, a case challenging law enforcement's ability to acquire precise, real-time location information from a cell phone.

Without seeking or obtaining a warrant, a police officer directed Jerome Almonor’s cell phone carrier to “ping” his phone to reveal his location at that time, which, as they found out, was in a private home. In its brief, the ACLU of Massachusetts argues that this search invaded both privacy and property interests protected by the state constitution and the Fourth Amendment.

According to the brief, the Courts have consistently ensured that technological advances do not undermine core privacy protections. This case provides another opportunity to make clear that the longstanding protections of the Fourth Amendment apply with undiminished force to cell phone location records.


Jessie Rossman and Matthew Segal (ACLU of Massachusetts); Jennifer Lynch and Andrew Crocker (Electronic Frontier Foundation)