New Jersey Police Now Need Warrants To Track Cellphones

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Cell phone providers will have to see some paperwork before handing over their customers' tracking information.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police must obtain a warrant prior to pulling cellphone location data. The ruling makes New Jersey only the second state (after Montana) to require police to show probable cause to a judge before they can request location data from cellphone carriers. 

While the ruling won't have any immediate impact outside of New Jersey, it could indirectly influence other courts wrestling with the balance between effective law enforcement and personal privacy. Lower courts remain divided on the subject, suggesting that the issue may eventually be resolved by the Supreme Court.

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