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2008

Vanderbilt University Law School

Fourth Amendment

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Government Data Mining And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2008

Government Data Mining And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The government's ability to obtain and analyze recorded information about its citizens through the process known as data mining has expanded enormously over the past decade. Although the best-known government data mining operation (Total Information Awareness, more recently dubbed Terrorism Information Awareness) supposedly no longer exists, large-scale data mining by federal agencies devoted to enforcing criminal and counter-terrorism laws has continued unabated. This paper addresses three puzzles about data mining. First, when data mining is undertaken by the government, does it implicate the Fourth Amendment? Second, does the analysis change when data mining is undertaken by private entities which then …