Georgia’s Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on vehicle data privacy

Back in 2014, a man named Victor Mobley was driving his 2014 Dodge Charger along a tree-lined road in Henry County, Georgia. Two people in a 1999 Chevrolet Corvette pulled out from a driveway and were hit by Mobley. They died, and Mobley survived.

Initially, the police determined that the Corvette driver must have pulled out without warning, and Mobley couldn’t stop in time. They saw nothing at the scene that would indicate that Mobley was driving too quickly until an officer plugged a device called a Crash Data Recorder into Mobley’s Charger and found that he had been doing nearly 100 miles per hour.

Here’s where things get sticky: that officer didn’t have a search warrant. The police got a warrant soon after, the issuance of which wasn’t dependent on the data obtained from Victor Mobley’s car, but after being convicted of a double first-degree vehicular homicide, Mobley appealed saying that the data from his vehicle was obtained illegally, in violation of the 4th Amendment. 

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