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Chicago’s GPS tracking rule violates Fourth Amendment property rights (and is super creepy)

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Municipal Code of Chicago § 7-38-115(1) (GPS-tracking rule) requires the owners of food trucks operating within Chicago to attach GPS tracking devices to their vehicles as a condition of retaining their food truck licenses, to collect information about their movement, and to make information available to the government and public. LMP Services, Inc., a local food truck proprietor, challenged Chicago’s GPS tracking rule (and a related 200 foot proximity ban) in 2012. After several years of litigation, the case has finally made its way all the way up to the Illinois Supreme Court.

According to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the GPS-tracking requirement is necessary “so that the City and consumers can follow [food truck] locations.” But contrary to Mayor Emanuel’s justification, there is no culinary convenience exception to the Fourth Amendment.

If a food truck is protected property, then a required physical trespass, direct or indirect, constitutes a search, and a warrant is required under the Fourth Amendment. For these reasons, we encourage the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse the ruling below and find the Chicago’s GPS tracking rule unconstitutional.