Location Tracking Technology: Primers for Criminal Defense Lawyers

Prison gate icon
On behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, clinic students prepared primers for on three location tracking technologies: cell phone tracking, the use of cell site simulators, and automatic license plate readers.

In 2016, Samuelson Clinic students represented that National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to prepare primers on certain location tracking technologies known to be used by the government to track individuals under investigation. The primers addressed automatic license plate readers (a technology that logs the license plate of every passing car, cell phone location tracking by obtaining location data from mobile carriers, and the use of cell site simulators (technology that forces mobile phones to disclose location information). The goal of the primers is to help criminal defense attorneys identify when these technologies are used in their cases, and to make appropriate challenges to these uses.

NOTE: These primers were finalized in 2016, and may no longer reflect current law.