In City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the Supreme Court invalidated a Los Angeles law that allowed law enforcement officials to inspect hotel and motel guest registries at any time, without a warrant or administrative subpoena. The Court ruled that the law violated hotel owners’ Fourth Amendment rights because it “penalizes them for declining to… Continue Reading
On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police must first obtain a warrant before searching the cell phones of arrested individuals, except in “exigent circumstances.” Chief Justice John Roberts authored the opinion, which held that an individual’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy outweighs the interest of law enforcement in conducting searches of… Continue Reading
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last month in Clapper v. Amnesty International, a case that asks the Court to determine whether a group of lawyers, journalists, and human rights workers have standing to challenge the federal government’s international electronic surveillance program under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The plaintiffs alleged Fourth Amendment privacy violations among… Continue Reading
According to a federal court in the Northern District of California, United States border agents may not search a laptop without a warrant several months after the agents seized the laptop.
The June 18, 2008 Ninth Circuit panel decision in Quon et al. v. Arch Wireless et al., No. 07-55282 (9th Cir. June 18, 2008) has sparked a flurry of news reports and speculation regarding employers’ ability to monitor employees’ e-mails and text messages. In fact, the decision appears to change very little for private employers who… Continue Reading
My very first blog post addressed a precedent-setting decision of the Central District of California holding that federal agents could not conduct a border search of the private and personal information stored on a traveler’s computer hard drive or electronic storage devices without reasonable suspicion. Eighteen months later, the Ninth Circuit has squarely reversed that decision. In a short opinion filed April 21, 2008, Judge O’Scannlain wrote in U.S. v. Arnold, No. 06-50581, that “reasonable suspicion is not needed for customs officials to search a laptop or other personal electronic storage devices at the border.” As far as the Ninth Circuit is concerned, for purposes of border searches under the Fourth Amendment, laptops and other electronic storage devices are not so much like a home or the human mind – they are more akin to luggage or a car.
In a novel case, the Ninth Circuit ruled on July 6, as amended July 25, that government surveillance of Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses visited, to/from addresses of emails, and the total volume of information sent to or from an email account does not violate the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Forrester, No. 05-50410, — F.3d —… Continue Reading
Last week, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that in the absence of an announced monitoring policy, the mere act of connecting a computer to a network does not extinguish a user’s reasonable expectation of privacy, under the Fourth Amendment, in the contents of his or her computer. The panel announced its… Continue Reading
Welcome to the LACBA California Privacy Law blog. This blog will provide a forum for summary and discussion of recent developments in California privacy law. California was the first state in the nation to require operators of commercial websites or online services to post privacy policies, and was the first state to pass legislation requiring notification to… Continue Reading