Protecting Privacy with Fourth Amendment Use Restrictions

54 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017  

Rebecca E. Lipman

New York City Law Department

Date Written: April 9, 2017

Abstract

Courts have traditionally used the Fourth Amendment to restrict what material police officers may collect. Courts have not used the Fourth Amendment to restrict how officers may use the material they collect. However, new technologies are undercutting the existing restrictions on collection, such that officers are able to learn an increasingly large amount about individuals without a warrant. The Supreme Court has struggled to find a way to adjust current Fourth Amendment doctrines in order to provide a stable level of privacy protection.

The Supreme Court should address this problem by imposing use restrictions on lawfully collected material. This Article offers a new, two-track approach to restrict certain uses of lawfully collected material. This approach is consistent with existing case law and the original scope of the Fourth Amendment. Unlike the mosaic theory, which the Court has expressed interest in, this Article’s approach will enable the Court to maintain a stable level of privacy protection without dramatically altering current Fourth Amendment doctrines.

Keywords: Privacy, Fourth Amendment, Constitutional Law, Law and Technology, Civil Rights, Mosaic Theory, Use Restrictions

Suggested Citation

Lipman, Rebecca E., Protecting Privacy with Fourth Amendment Use Restrictions (April 9, 2017). George Mason Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2949293

Rebecca E. Lipman (Contact Author)

New York City Law Department ( email )

100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007-2601
United States

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