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Segmentation, Privacy and Dog Sniffing

Jane Yakowitz has posted an interesting study and analysis of smells detected by dogs as related to privacy/segmentation concepts in American law.

In Florida v. Jardines, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether the sniff of a trained narcotics dog at the front door of a person’s home constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. This is very exciting for privacy scholars because it presents two possible shifts in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. First, the court might further expand Justice Scalia’s “magical places” rationale to reinforce that the home is a formidable privacy fortress, protecting all information from the detection of government agents unless that information happens to be visible to the human eye.

The second possibility — the one I root for — is that the court may choose to reopen the holding and reasoning of the previous dog sniff cases, Place and Caballes (which determined that dog sniffs conducted on a car and on luggage did not constitute a search.)

Posted in Security.

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