Privacy experts say a court ruling in New Jersey on cellphone tracking could have effects beyond the state's borders.

Cell Phones
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

New Jersey's Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that police will need a warrant to get access to cellphone tracking data from service providers. The case stemmed from the arrest of a burglary suspect in 2006.

An attorney for the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation says it's the first time a state supreme court has ruled on that specific issue. Federal courts have split on whether cellphone users have the right to privacy in public places, but several cases are pending in federal appeals courts.

Attorney Hanni Fakhoury says although the New Jersey decision affects only the state's law enforcement personnel, it can be used in arguments in other state courts.


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