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CTIA has 'serious concerns' about California law requiring warrants for location information

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Wireless industry trade group CTIA has come out against a proposed California law that would require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant in order to access location information from mobile devices.

Windows phone location icon
Windows phone location icon

The state of California has proposed a law that would force law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant in order to access the "location information of an electronic device" — but the wireless carriers who would be able to provide that information are against it. In a letter to the California senate, the CTIA — a trade group that represents the wireless industry — said that it has "serious concerns" about the law, explaining that it "may create confusion for wireless providers and hamper their response to legitimate law enforcement investigations."

"These reporting mandates would unduly burden wireless providers and their employees."

The trade group believes that the language of the law is so broad that it could leave carriers in the position of requiring warrants every time the police file a request for information. It also says that the law would be "onerous and costly," as it would require carriers to compile annual reports about the information they do disclose. The issue of location information access has been a contentious one of late, as the American Civil Liberties Union recently revealed findings that law enforcement officials regularly obtain cell phone tracking details directly from carriers without a warrant.