Today’s bad news on the privacy front:
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an order by a Houston federal judge who had said cellphone data is constitutionally protected from intrusion and can only be acquired with a search warrant.
The appeals court in New Orleans said such data is a business record that belongs to the cellphone provider. The court said that, under the Stored Communications Act, authorities have the option of obtaining a court order — which has a lower legal standard than a search warrant. With a court order, authorities only have to demonstrate there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the information would be relevant to an investigation.