EPIC Files Application to the International Criminal Court on Location Data Privacy

July 21, 2020

EPIC has filed a request to submit an amicus brief in the International Criminal Court concerning the recognition of an international right to privacy in cell site location information (“CSLI”). Investigators in the case, The Prosecutor v. Yekatom & Ngaïssona, obtained two years of defendant Yekatom’s cell location data from a telecommunications company in the Central African Republic without prior judicial authorization. EPIC wrote that “there is increased recognition in the international community that cell phone metadata, and CSLI in particular, can reveal sensitive personal information by allowing investigators to track an individual’s movements over time and infer their habits, social associations, and even political and religious beliefs.” Should the ICC grant EPIC’s application, EPIC will file a full amicus briefs arguing that the international right to privacy includes privacy in cell location data. EPIC filed an amicus brief in Carpenter v. United States, in which the U.S. Supreme Court determined that law enforcement could not obtain historical cell location data without a warrant. EPIC has also participated as amicus curiae in cases involving the right to privacy under international law, including most recently Irish Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook & Schrems, in which the top European court invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield.

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