The future of mobile traffic cameras has been in limbo, but a recent lawsuit filed against the makers of the devices has put the issue back on the table.
The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Tuesday and seeks an injunction that would block the manufacturers from installing or selling devices that “will subject motorists to an unreasonable search or seizure.”
According to the complaint, the devices are meant to “detect and flag speeding vehicles” that are not currently equipped with cameras, and can then send the vehicles’ location information to a traffic enforcement agency in the event that a collision is imminent.
The complaint also alleges that the devices infringe on the owners’ privacy rights.
The devices have been installed in some cities, including in cities in Florida and Georgia, and have been used to catch drivers speeding in the past.
The devices also have been tested to detect and warn drivers of a possible crash, but there have been no reported incidents of people being injured or killed while in their possession.
The owners of the technology have responded to the lawsuit in a statement released on Wednesday.
“While we do not believe that our products are capable of detecting speeding or distracted driving, we do believe that these devices provide valuable information to help law enforcement authorities better manage and enforce traffic violations,” they said.
The complaint claims that the plaintiffs are in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.s.
Constitution because they are not in “the line of duty.”
“It is unlawful for a governmental entity to violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, particularly when it seeks to use a surveillance device to monitor an individual’s private communications, including social media,” the complaint reads.
“These devices are not designed to detect or warn motorists of a crash; they are designed to track and alert law enforcement agencies that a crash is imminent.”
While the lawsuit claims that police agencies do not need to obtain a warrant before installing the devices, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, told The Next Word that there are already tools that allow law enforcement to access mobile devices for the purpose of identifying individuals, including those that have been identified as having a prior conviction for a crime.
“The police departments already have a tool that can be used for this purpose, and it’s called the ‘smart-lock,'” EFF legal director Chris Calabrese told The New York Times.
“This technology is a way to bypass the Fourth amendment and give police the ability to search people’s phones without a warrant,” he said.
“In theory, police departments should be able to search these phones as part of routine searches for other suspects or evidence.”
Police departments have long been able to use the technology in some cases to locate a suspect.
The New Orleans Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department have both used the technology to find drug dealers.
But it is also not uncommon for the devices to be deployed in the interest of public safety.
In 2014, the Baltimore Police Department was caught using the devices in a botched drug bust.
The city was caught searching a suspect’s phone for more than a year without obtaining a warrant.