Unit III Case Study
Right to Privacy Case Study
Certain freedoms such as civil liberties and civil rights are concepts highly revered by Americans; however, there are times when these two concepts conflict in the name of safety and national security. The Digital Age is having a profound effect on the privacy of individuals in both their daily and private lives. With technology like cameras and smartphones, the activities of people are being recorded more, whether it is running a red light, entering a building, playing in a park, or using an ATM machine.
In this assignment, you will analyze a case involving public safety versus an individual’s privacy. Read the following article from the New York Times concerning Carpenter v. United States, a case recently decided by the Supreme Court.
Liptak, A. (2018, June 23). Warrant required for cellphone tracking data. New York Times, p. A1(L). Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.
For more background on the case, here is a link to the actual opinion written for this case: https://www.
Please answer the following questions concerning this case. Address the questions in a cohesive essay. It should be at least two pages in length and should be double-spaced, and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Please be sure to provide an introduction to your essay,
- Which part of the Constitution addresses individual privacy rights? Do you believe that, with today’s technology, the Constitution still adequately protects those rights? Why, or why not?
- Describe the issue that was debated in this case. How was the need for public safety and security balanced with individual civil liberties and civil rights impacted by the final ruling in this case?
- Do you agree with the majority opinion or the dissenting opinion in this case? Explain your response. Where do you personally draw the line in this privacy issue?
- Explain how historical thought and tradition affect civil liberties and rights as they pertain to the issue presented in this case.
- Describe how politics can intersect with civil rights.
- What consequences do you support for those who violate constitutional rights?
- What, if any, compensation do you recommend for individuals whose rights have been violated by others?
You must use at least two sources, in addition to the article given, to support your response. Make sure that all sources are cited and referenced using APA style.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Unit III Case Study
Among the most discussed civil liberty in the US is the right to privacy. This is especially in the light of technology advancement, where in the recent past, there has been numerous technological advancements that infringe the rights of privacy by accessing personal data of individuals, especially through different telecommunication providers. The digital age has affected the private lives of Americans as they can be recorded when entering a building, passing a red light in traffic, playing in parks or even using ATM machines (Citron, 2018). This assignment involves an analysis of the Carpenter v. United States case, where privacy and phone location data as well as other elements are highlighted.
Part of Constitution that Addresses Individual Privacy Rights and the Capacity of the Constitution to Protect those Rights
The fourth amendment is the part of the constitution that protects individual privacy rights in an extensive way. Under this section of the constitution, which was added in December 1791, people are protected from searches that are unlawful or even seizures by authorities (Henderson, 2017). The police need to have a warrant to access your house and conduct extensive search.
Issue debated in the Case
In the Carpenter v. United States case, the issue debated about was the question as to whether or not the police, or other authorities, have the right to have unrestricted access to customer data through the telecommunications service providers (Chaudhari & Prasad, 2019). It was an issue that was raised in response to the anti-terrorism procedures set by the police of accessing different gadgets held by citizens to prevent unsafe digital activities.
My Agreement in the Majority Opinion in the Case
The majority opinion in the case held that there should be a warrant for the police to access the site location or other information of a citizen from a cell phone company. This majority opinion was held by Chief Justice Roberts, and was joined by justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, and Breyer (Chaudhari & Prasad, 2019). I agree with this opinion as it is among one of the only few ways that customers of telecom companies can feel safe using the devices to communicate amongst themselves.
How Historical Tradition affects the thoughts as Pertaining to this Case
One of the historical traditions that affected the thoughts pertaining to the case is that the police are meant to provide security for citizens, and that citizens should be willing to cooperate in all ways they are asked to. This traditional opinion dismisses the fact that some of these members of the police taskforce may be ‘dirty,’ and hence infringing the privacy of citizens would have the wrong beneficiaries.
Intersection of Politics with Civil Rights
Politics affect civil rights in a large way. In the Carpenter v. United States case, four justices including Justice Alito, Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Thomas, has dissenting opinions, and several analysts argued that their indifference to the issue of privacy was on a political basis.
Consequences for those Who Violate Constitutional Rights
Violation of constitutional rights is a serious criminal offense, and I support the legal punishment of culprits of the same. However, there should be adequate warnings before serious actions are taken on the affected individuals.
Compensation I Recommend for Individuals whose Rights are Violated by others
A public pardon is best when a crime committed exposes a citizen to public shame. In other violations, I believe financial compensation to the individuals whose rights are violated should be done. I also believe that the culprits should compensate all other damages associated with the violations.
Chaudhari, N., & Prasad, S. K. (2019). Carpenter v. United States: State Surveillance and Citizen Privacy. NALSAR Stud. L. Rev., 13, 129.
Citron, D. K. (2018). Section 230’s Challenge to Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Knight First Amendment Institute, Emerging Threats Series (2018).
Henderson, S. E. (2017). Carpenter v. United States and the Fourth Amendment: The Best Way Forward. Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J., 26, 495.
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