EPIC Urges Supreme Court to Steer Clear of Warrantless Vehicle Searches

EPIC has filed an amicus brief in Byrd v. United States, a case about warrantless searches of rental vehicles. EPIC urged the Supreme Court to recognize that a modern car collects vast troves of personal data. EPIC explained cars today "make little distinction between driver and occupant, those on a rental agreement and those who are not." EPIC pointed to the routine collection of cell phone contents with a Bluetooth connection, data which is stored in the car even after "deletion." EPIC also emphasized that the status of the driver has no bearing on Fourth Amendment privacy interests. The lower court held that because the driver was not an authorized renter, he was not entitled to privacy protection. EPIC has filed extensive comments with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Transportation, and testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the privacy and consumer safety risks posed by connected vehicles. EPIC also routinely participates as amicus curiae in cases before the Supreme Court, such as in United States v. Jones, Riley v. California, and Florida v. Harris.

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