Legal authorities cannot use GPS tracking devices on a person's vehicle without first obtaining a search warrant, the United States Supreme Court has ruled.

The ruling clarifies the Fourth Amendment right of Americans which protects them from unreasonable searches or seizures without a warrant and probable cause.

The Amendment references "persons, houses, papers and effects."

According to the new verdict, instances where "the government obtains information by physically intruding on a constitutionally protected area," includes an individual's car.

Massive ramifications

GPS tracking is often used by the police and other federal authorities to gain intelligence on the movement of suspects, so today's legal ruling has massive ramifications.

Monday's verdict stems from a case where a man was able to overturn his conviction and sentence of life imprisonment for drug dealing.

His legal team were able to prove to the court that police had installed a GPS tracking device on his jeep without a warrant.

The Supreme Court justices agreed that the police had violated his "reasonable expectations of privacy."

Via: TechCrunch