March 26, 2021 Feature

Telephones, Aerial Surveillance, and Privacy Rights

By Matthew Henshon

Fourth Amendment privacy jurisprudence would seem to be a highly specialized purview of criminal defense lawyers. However, it also offers a prism to examine how the Supreme Court’s view of privacy has evolved in the face of advancing technology. The language of the Fourth Amendment has not changed in 200 years, but the Court’s interpretation of it has.1 And tracking Fourth Amendment jurisprudence over the last century provides an interesting roadmap to think about how rule makers (i.e., judges, legislators, and, in some cases, private parties) have thought—and likely will think—about the right to privacy in the context of UAVs and other advanced technologies.

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