Learning Team B was tasked to study the IRAC method of case study analysis, and select one legal case from a current event that has taken place within the past two years relevant to this week’s objectives. After selecting a current case, Learning Team B prepared a case brief using the IRAC method. Learning Team B selected the United States v. Jones case, which was decided January 23, 2012. Learning Team B was also tasked to provide an explanation of how the legal concepts in the United States v. Jones case could be applied within a business managerial setting. The government issued a warrant to place a Global Positioning System on the personal vehicle of Jones to track any unlawful behavior. For 28 days, the government monitored the vehicle and “it subsequently secured an indictment of Jones and others on drug trafficking conspiracy charges” (“United states v.,” 2012). The issue is that a violation of the Fourth Amendment may be in question. The question in this case is whether or not the vehicle that was fitted with the GPS is considered real or personal property.
Also how is the vehicle subject to government surveillance only on public property? Could the vehicle be subject to the real or personal property laws protected under the Fourth Amendment? The question remains if the vehicle can be searched using the GPS only part of the time. The court’s ruling still does not clearly define what the fourth amendment covers as real or personal property. The definition of the Fourth Amendment is not completely clear on exactly what the real or personal property is defined as or if it is reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by society or a court of law. The law “protects reasonable expectations of privacy, but the Supreme Court has refused to provide a consistent explanation for what makes an expectation of privacy ‘reasonable’” (Kerr, 2007, p. 503).
The Fourth Amendment can be applied to a business managerial setting by protecting workers rights to privacy somewhat. Any use of work property, including e-mail and Internet is subject to inspection by the company. There is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace if an employee has an office. If the employee is in the front of the work environment conversations or anything in plain view can be subject to police search. According to “Surveillance Self-Defense” (2013), “A big question in determining whether your expectation of privacy is ‘reasonable’ and protected by the Fourth Amendment arises when you have ‘knowingly exposed’ something to another person or to the public at large” (Reasonable Expectation of Privacy). If a person is exposes intended personal information or property to a third party that reasonable expectation of privacy is no longer valid.
The “Fourth Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights,” and the “Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments of the United States Constitution.” The “Fourth Amendment protects the rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” (Gatewood, 2013, p. 1). The government can use “GPS to track an individual movement” if they believe a crime have been committed. If law enforcement wants to obtain a warrant for “a GPS device to be installed” on an individual car, he or she must be able to convince a judge that a crime has been committed. They must also provide the judge with information about the place that will “be searched, and the” individual “or thing to be seized” (Hughes & Burton, 2013, p. 1).
In this court case, “the agents obtained a warrant, but they did not comply with two of the warrants restrictions. First, they did not install the GPS device within the 10-day period that was required by the provision of the warrant.” Second, the “GPS device supposed to be installed in the vehicle in the District of Columbia, as required by the condition of the warrant.” The “government installs the GPS device on the vehicle in a public parking space in Maryland” (McKenzie, 2002, p. 1). According to McKenzie (2002), “the vehicle is an effect as the term is used in the Amendment, and this is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.” An organization that use any form of GPS device on an individual vehicle would be violating the Fourth Amendment.” The “Fourth Amendment” was implemented to safeguard the rights of citizens, and to make sure that his or her “privacy is not violated” in any way (McKenzie, 2002, p. 1).
A public management can “conduct a mixed-motive search of an employer’s workplace, seeking to discover evidence of worker misconduct, as well as evidence the worker has committed a crime.” For example, a “search of a computer of a worker who has been downloading child pornography implicates both personnel misconduct and criminal concern.” “Courts assessing whether to apply the O’Connor reasonableness standard or the more traditional Fourth Amendment probable cause and warrant requirements of these mix-motive searches have applied O’Connor, reasonableness standard.” Certainly, “as explained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, O’Connor’s” objective of “ensuring that an efficient workplace should not be frustrated simply because the similar misconduct that violates a government management’s rule, and it is also illegal” (Koster, 2007, p. 1).
A community employer can conduct searches related to the workplace “such as to find a missing file or to investigate workplace misconduct,” in compliance with the “Fourth Amendment without probable cause or a warrant.” A job-related search is “constitutionally” allowable “as long as they are reasonable expectation of privacy.” Furthermore, “even if the search does infringe on a worker’s reasonable expectation of privacy, the search will deemed reasonable in accordance with the Fourth Amendment it is justified as its inception and permissible in scope” (Koster, 2007, p. 1).
In George Orwell’s 1984, the citizens of the dystopian, totalitarian country of Oceania are subjected to a grim reality of constant government surveillance. In difference, technology is necessary to fulfill Orwell’s nightmare is far closer to fact than fiction. For example, the smart phone while using its GPS function is an indispensable component for numerous road trips; this global device has many of the same capabilities as 1984 feared telescreen.
In the United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded that police violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution when they attached the GPS-enabled tracking device to the defendant’s vehicle and used it to monitor the car’s movements for 28 days (Maryland Law Review, pg. 998). Jones highlights two uniquely prescient concerns: The impact of modern information-sharing technology on individual privacy, and what limits ought to be placed on Law enforcement from using such technology unrestricted by physical boundaries (Maryland Law Review, pg. 999).
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the lower court and held that without a warrant, the installation of the GPS tracking device constituted an unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment (“United states v.,” 2012). The government had argued a person did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy on public streets but the U.S. Supreme court rejected this argument. The U.S. Supreme court ruled a person does have a reasonable expectation of privacy on public streets regardless of how the GPS tracking device is placed on the person’s vehicle. The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled that today’s surveillance technology is very advanced but still creates a physical intrusion into a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy protected under the Fourth Amendment (“United states v.,” 2012).
This ruling is very important in today’s business world as technology rapidly advances. The current generation of workers is very comfortable with advanced technology but still have the basic expectations of privacy that workers had 20 years ago. Companies can track email conversations, locate company smart phones using GPS technology, locate, and monitor routes of company vehicles, and even video tape activity at their locations. It is important that an organization brief and ensure each employee acknowledges the reasonable expectation of privacy policies. If a company issues a smart phone to an employee and employ GPS tracking on the phone, the employee must be informed his or her smart phone will be monitored. If a company installs GPS tracking devices on their vehicles the driver of that vehicle must be informed his or her route and movement is subject to company monitoring at all times. If a company video monitors its employees, employees must sign an acknowledgment understanding their movement with the organization is monitored and recorded during the business day. Advanced technology is a tool to reduce fraud in the workplace but cannot violate an employee’s right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.
Gatewood, J. (2013). It’s raining Katz and Jones: The implications of United States v. Jones- A case of sound and fury. Pace Law Review, 33(2), 683-715. Retrieved from http://Web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1988, The Evolving Fourth Amendment United States vs. Jones, The information cloud, and the right to exclude, Ber An Pan, 1993 Hughes, T. & Burton, C. (2013). Police GPS surveillance on vehicles and the warrant Requirement: “For a while I’ve been watching you steady”. American Journal Of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 535-550.doi:10.1007/s12103-012-9185-z. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com Kerr, O.S. (2007, November). Four Models of Fourth Amendment Protection. Stanford Law Review, 60(2), 503-551. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224069628?accountid=35812 McKenzie, D. (2002). What were they smoking?: The Supreme Court’s latest step in a long Strange trip through the Fourth Amendment. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 93(1), 153. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com Koster, P. R. (2007). Workplace searches by public employers and the Fourth Amendment. Urban Lawyer, 39(1). 75-84. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.comezproxy. Apollolibrary.com Surveillance Self-Defense. (2013). Retrieved from https://ssd.eff.org/your-computer/govt/privacy U.S. Supreme Court, (2012). United states v. jones (No. 10–1259). Retrieved from website: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-1259.pdf
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