The intent of this thesis is to examine the future of the third-party doctrine with the proliferation of technology and the online data we are surrounded with daily, specifically after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Carpenter v. United States. In order to better understand the Supreme Court’s reasoning in that case, this thesis will review the history of the third-party doctrine and its roots in United States v. Miller and Smith v. Maryland. A review of Fourth Amendment history and jurisprudence is also crucial to this thesis, as it is imperative that individuals do not forfeit their Constitutional guarantees for the benefit of living in a technologically advanced society. This requires an understanding of the modern-day functional equivalents of “papers” and “effects.” Furthermore, this thesis will ultimately answer the following question: Why is it legally significant that we protect at least some data that comes from technologies that our forefathers could have never imagined under the Fourth Amendment?
Looking to the future, this thesis will contemplate solutions on how to move forward in this technology era. It will scrutinize the relevancy of the third-party doctrine due to the rise of technology and the enormous amount of information held about us by third parties. In the past, the Third-Party Doctrine may have been good law, but that time has passed. It is time for the Third-Party Doctrine to be abolished so the Fourth Amendment can join the 21st Century.
Bast, Carol M.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Del Rosso, Cristina, "Protecting Online Privacy in the Digital Age: Carpenter v. United States and the Fourth Amendment’s Third-Party Doctrine" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 628.