Va. Court Upholds Police Use of GPS to Track Sex Offenders

September 7, 2010

The Virginia Court of Appeals has upheld the use of a GPS device to track a sex offender's movements.

The court unanimously ruled Tuesday that Fairfax County Police did not violate the privacy rights of David Foltz Jr., a registered sex offender, when they attached the device to the bumper of his work van and tracked him as he drove around.

The GPS log put Foltz near the scene of a sex crime, which prompted police to follow him in person the next day and arrest him during an attempted assault.

The court rejected Foltz's claim that use of the GPS device amounted to an unconstitutional search and seizure and violated his privacy rights. The judges said there is no expectation of privacy on public streets.

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