On June 22, 2018 the Supreme Court of the United States made a historical decision regarding the privacy rights of cellphone users. The case explored the expectation of privacy that the petitioner, Timothy Ivory Carver, had when using his cellphone. What began as the armed robbery of one Detroit, Michigan Radio Shack turned into a ground-breaking ruling regarding how prosecutors are able to obtain data collected by cell phone companies. Carpenter’s case was built around the Fourth Amendment protections that he believed should have prevented law enforcement officials from learning about his movements by obtaining cell phone records.
In December of 2010, a few weeks before Christmas, a Radio Shack in Detroit, Michigan was robbed by multiple armed individuals. The robbery was the first of several in the area that occurred between December 2010 and March 2011 before four of the suspected robbers were arrested in April of 2011. Timothy Carpenter, the petitioner, was not arrested, but after one of the individuals arrested surrendered his cellphone, the FBI agents reviewed calls made from his cell phone when the robberies were committed.