Federal appeals court takes up wireless cellphone tracking, used to place suspects near crimes

A federal appeals court in Atlanta is set to hear arguments in a Florida case over warrantless cellphone tracking.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June ruled that investigators must obtain a search warrant to obtain cellphone tower tracking data that is widely used to show that suspects were in the vicinity of a crime.

The federal government asked to have the decision reconsidered by the full court. The court granted that request and is set to hear arguments Tuesday.

The issue arises from the Miami case of Quartavious Davis, who was sentenced to serve 162 years in prison for a string of violent armed robberies. Cellphone tower data used at trial placed Davis near six of the armed robberies for which he was convicted.