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A Supermajority of Californians Supports Limits on Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Information

20 Pages Posted: 27 May 2008  

Jennifer King

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information

Chris Jay Hoofnagle

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information; University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: April 18, 2008

Abstract

While law enforcement increasingly locates individuals by gaining access to wireless phone records, a supermajority of Californians supports judicial intervention and informing suspects before law enforcement acquires retrospective (historical) location data on individuals from wireless phone companies. A majority of Californians understands that wireless phones can track their location, and that there is broad support for location tracking in emergency situations. When compared with Professor Alan Westin's three privacy segments, "Fundamentalists," "Pragmatists," and the "Unconcerned," Californians are more likely to be privacy pragmatists or fundamentalists, and less likely to be unconcerned about privacy. Generally, Westin's segmentation was not predictive of Californians' attitudes towards law enforcement access to wireless location data.

Keywords: Privacy, wireless, cellular, location, ECPA

JEL Classification: K14, K40

Suggested Citation

King, Jennifer and Hoofnagle, Chris Jay, A Supermajority of Californians Supports Limits on Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Information (April 18, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1137988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1137988

Jennifer King

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information ( email )

102 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Chris Jay Hoofnagle (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Information ( email )

212 South Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600
United States
510-643-0213 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://hoofnagle.berkeley.edu

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

344 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-643-0213 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://hoofnagle.berkeley.edu

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