Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Lynch,
However, there are some reasons to hope that the courts will find the ability of drones to monitor our activities constantly, both in public and—through the use of heat sensors or other technology—inside our homes, goes too far. For example, in a 2001 case called Kyllo v. United States, the Supreme Court held the warrantless search of a home conducted from outside the home using thermal imaging violated the Fourth Amendment. The Court held that, “in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details”—it didn’t matter that the officers did not need to “enter” the home to “see” them. United States v. Jones, argued before the Supreme Court this term, could also have ramifications for drones. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion in this case held that warrantless GPS-enabled 24/7 surveillance of a car violated the Fourth Amendment, noting, “When it comes to privacy . . . the whole may be more revealing than the parts.” Though the outcome of the case at the Supreme Court is far from clear, the Court did seem surprised during oral argument that, under the government’s theory of the case, the justices themselves could be tracked without a warrant and without probable cause. Drones that use heat sensors to “see” into the home and that can track one or many people around the clock wherever they go are not much different from the technologies at issue in Kyllo and Jones.
Link URLs in the original.