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Supreme Court rejects appeal in major cellphone tracking case

A closely watched privacy case was dealt a major blow today, as the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal over police obtaining cellphone location records without a warrant.

Cases unfolding across country

The case centers around Quartavious Davis, who was found guilty of a series of Florida robberies that happened in 2010. Police were able to tie Davis to the robberies using location information obtained by Davis' cellphone carrier, MetroPCS. Davis challenged the decision, arguing that, as police failed to get a warrant for the information, the government was in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Police have argued that they need only show "that there are reasonable grounds to believe" such records "are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation." Although Davis won an early appeal, the decision was reversed by another court decision in May. Without review by the Supreme Court, that decision stands. (The Court does not generally explain its decision not to hear a case.)

Meanwhile, although a patchwork of similar cases have been unfolding across the country, the Supreme Court has yet to take up the issue.