Inside GNSS Media & Research

NOV-DEC 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 59

22 InsideGNSS N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 A rou nd t he g lobe , pol ic e m a k e i nc re a si ng u s e of GNSS tracking and other technologies for criminal investigations. National laws and court decisions are using different approaches and come to different solutions regard- ing the legality of such measures, in view of their implications on the rights of individuals and namely the protection of privacy. ere are two different types of methods using GNSS tracking for crimi- nal investigations. One type is obtain- ing positional information indirectly by requesting the telecommunication ser- vice providers to provide the positional information of a target's device. The other type is obtaining positional infor- mation directly by using GPS terminals attached on a target's belongings. In Japan, secrecy of communica- tion is guaranteed by the Constitution. Fur t hermore, t he Telecommunica- tions Business Act provides that the communications being handled by the telecommunications service provider shall not be censored and the secrecy of such communications shall not be infringed. erefore, the telecommuni- cation service providers are prohibited from providing a contractor's positional information for the police without the statutory basis. Therefore, when the former is conducted, the police must obtain an inspection permit. On the other hand, the latter has not been regu- lated in detail by a law, so the police had employed the latter method without any warrants. Under such circumstances, the legality of the latter method of GPS investigation became controversial. Similar situations are occurring worldw ide. For ex a mple, t he U. S . Supreme C ou r t ha s a l ready r u led on similar matters. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Jones that the government's installa- tion of a GPS device on a target's vehi- cle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movements, constitutes a "search" under the Fourth Amend- ment to the United States Constitution. e case was subject to significant legal debate and diverging opinions among the Supreme Court´s judges. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on the comparable matter of cellphone location data. In Carpenter v. United States, the Court held that the government violates the Fourth Amendment by accessing historical records containing the physi- cal locations of cellphones without a search warrant. Last year, Japan's Supreme Court decided for the first time on the legal- ity of the latter type of GPS investiga- tion without warrants. Lower courts have made judgments about the matter preceding the Supreme Court decision and, like is the case in the U.S., caused controversies among lawyers. is article consists of three parts. e first Part (2) outlines the legal issues about GPS investigation under the Japa- nese legal system. e second part (3, 4, 5) summarizes and examines the deci- sion by the Supreme Court and relevant lower court's decisions. The final part (6) draws some comparison between the Japan's Supreme Court's decision and the mosaic theory which was referred in the previous U.S. decision. LEGAL AND PRIVAC Y ISSUES GPS Investigations in Japan, and Privacy Concerns MARIA TANIUCHI KYOTO UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, JAPAN The legal and privacy issues surrounding GPS investigations have come to the forefront around the globe in recent years. Recent court rulings in both Japan and the United States provide insights into the future. Here we summarize and examine a decision by the Japanese Supreme Court and relevant lower court's decisions, as well compare the Japan decision and the mosaic theory from an earlier U.S. court decision. GNSS & THE LAW Ingo Baumann is the column editor for GNSS & the Law, and the co-founder and partner of BHO Legal in Cologne, Germany, a boutique law firm for European high technology projects mainly in the space sector. Ingo studied law at the Universities of Muenster and Cologne. His doctoral thesis, written at the Institute for Air and Space Law in Cologne, examined the international and European law of satellite communications. Baumann worked several years for the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), including as head of the DLR Galileo Project Office and CEO of the DLR operating company for the German Galileo Control Center.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Inside GNSS Media & Research - NOV-DEC 2018