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    Detroit Free Press: Technology is trampling privacy rights, experts say

    The Detroit Free Press takes a look at the issue of privacy when it comes to technology:

    Smartphones allow us to make calls, check e-mail, download music, browse the Web and take pictures. […] Facebook lets us reconnect with friends and show off pictures from tropical vacations. […]

    Law enforcement officials are increasingly employing technology, including tracking devices placed on suspects’ vehicles and data-extraction tools for cell phones and computers.

    Police say they use technologies within the confines of the law. But privacy-rights advocates worry about violations of the Fourth Amendment. […]

    Investigators are mining social networking sites and e-mails, placing tracking devices on vehicles and purchasing sophisticated technology of their own — like devices that can extract information from cell phones. And with many cell phones now more characteristic of computers than basic talk-and-text phones, there’s plenty of information to be found.

    Privacy-rights advocates, though, worry about constitutional violations and say laws aren’t keeping pace with changing technology. […]

    The way technology is expanding, privacy advocates say it’s possible for police to consistently monitor someone without their knowledge, particularly with tracking devices.

    “We don’t want to be in a situation where the police just decide to throw a tracker on everybody because it’s easier,” said Rebecca Jeschke, spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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