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The Third Party Doctrine - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing Technology

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  1. As aforementioned the third party doctrine states that the Fourth Amendment does not hold for the information that an individual has shared with third parties and therefore they do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy if the documents are subpoenaed
  2. Application of the Fourth Amendment is only dependent on whether the person that invoking the protection by it can show a legitimate expectancy of protection through the actions that they have taken
  3. The use of metadata that is exchanged over the telephones has not been as extensively common as it is in today and therefore the people that share the data with their phones need to be aware that the data shared over the telephone is similar to the information exchanged over the phone
  4. The third party doctrine arose from an argument against a court case where a criminal had seen his bank records used against him by the government agencies in a court of law

It is a United States legal theory that holds that information that is freely given to third parties should not be expected to be private or people should not use the Fourth Amendment Act as a defense against the convictions. The rule gives the government and government agencies a Right to ?intrude? per se and look through ones private records if they have reasonable doubt about one's behavior or are within their own rights to conduct the search. With the development in technology the criminals have found new ways to mask their illegal businesses and make it difficult for the police to track through the use of the old tracking methods.

[...] The third party doctrine arose from an argument against a court case where a criminal had seen his bank records used against him by the government agencies in a court of law. The problem of records and the different problems in establishing if the records are accessible publicly have raised a lot of questions into the credibility of the laws as the technology increasingly changes. It is therefore important for one to establish whether the changes will be perennial and will be applicable for use for the next generations or there may be changes in the law adjudicated by the Supreme Court due to the different circumstances that may arise as the technology changes. [...]


[...] This was the case that gave rise to the Third Party Doctrine. Application of the Fourth Amendment is only dependent on whether the person that invoking the protection by it can show a legitimate expectancy of protection through the actions that they have taken. In this regard therefore although the Supreme Court had ruled that the telephone call by Katz was intrusion if the officers obtained a proper court order they could listen in on a conversation since the caller knows that the calls may recorded by the phone company and it is within the government's rights to subpoena the records of the calls that have been made (Baase 102). [...]

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