For some time now, Jeff Rosen has seized on a comment Judge Ginsburg (my former Professor) made about the “constitutional in exile” in Regulation magazine. See David Bernstein’s comment here and Barnett here.
In a NYT op-ed, Rosen has found a new appreciation for DGH:
But in a visionary opinion in August 2010, Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, disagreed. No reasonable person, he argued, expects that his public movements will be tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and therefore we do have an expectation of privacy in the “whole” of our public movements.
“Unlike one’s movements during a single journey,” Judge Ginsburg wrote, “the whole of one’s movements over the course of a month is not actually exposed to the public because the likelihood anyone will observe all those movements is effectively nil.”
Judge Ginsburg realized that ubiquitous surveillance for a month is impossible, in practice, without technological enhancements like a GPS device, and that it is therefore qualitatively different than the more limited technologically enhanced public surveillance that the Supreme Court has upheld in the past (like using a beeper to help the police follow a car for a 100-mile trip).
The Supreme Court case is an appeal of Judge Ginsburg’s decision. If the court rejects his logic and sides with those who maintain that we have no expectation of privacy in our public movements, surveillance is likely to expand, radically transforming our experience of both public and virtual spaces
Is Ginsburg’s vision of probable cause part of the Constitution in Exile?
Plus this comment, which reads out of omniveillance:
There is also the specter of video surveillance. In 2008, at a Google conference on the future of law and technology, Andrew McLaughlin, then the head of public policy at Google, said he expected that, within a few years, public agencies and private companies would be asking Google to post live feeds from public and private surveillance cameras all around the world. If the feeds were linked and archived, anyone with a Web browser would be able to click on a picture of anyone on any monitored street and follow his movements.