The Third Party Doctrine And The United States Judicial System

1028 Words Nov 13th, 2016 5 Pages
Starting with a robbery back in 1976, the ‘Third Party Doctrine’ is the legal theory that the United States judicial system still uses today to determine our expectations of privacy, even on modern technology and the internet. The theory was created when the Smith v. Maryland case was ruled in favor of the government in the Supreme Court, claiming that information voluntarily turned over to third parties had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Sense that 1976 case, there has been several other cases adopting the same idea, establishing the reasonable expectation of privacy test. Even in 2012 court case United States v Graham, held that location data was not protected by the Fourth Amendment, as it was information that users were giving voluntary to third parties. And finally, in United States v. Jones that same year, the court theorized that police were able to use GPS trackers without a warrant due to the same 1976 theory. However, today people reveal myriads of information about themselves to third parties due to the fact that the Internet itself is a distributed system ran by third parties. This is why the 1976 test for expectation of privacy is no longer a good rule, as our modern technological world has changed the reasonableness of our expectation of privacy from that of 1976. We need to apply our Fourth Amendment right in a more sensible and balanced way. The main problem with this is that is has become a day-to-day task to enter our information online. For…

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