La Cour suprême des États-Unis a rendu la semaine dernière une décision unanime dans United States v. Jones, dans laquelle la Cour a jugé que les entités chargées de l’application de la loi ont besoin soit d’un mandat ou de la permission du propriétaire s’ils veulent installer un dispositif de repérage par GPS sur un véhicule.

Qui plus est, la juge Sotomayor s’est prononcé sur la « doctrine de la tierce partie », théorie selon laquelle on perd toute expectative de la vie privée si notre information se retrouve dans les mains d’une tierce partie.

More fundamentally, it may be necessary to reconsider the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties. E.g., Smith, 442 U. S., at 742; United States v. Miller, 425 U. S. 435, 443 (1976). This approach is ill suited to the digital age, in which people reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks. People disclose the phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellu- lar providers; the URLs that they visit and the e-mail addresses with which they correspond to their Internet service providers; and the books, groceries, and medi- cations they purchase to online retailers. Perhaps, as JUSTICE ALITO notes, some people may find the “tradeoff” of privacy for convenience “worthwhile,” or come to accept this “diminution of privacy” as “inevitable,” post, at 10, and perhaps not. I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the Government of a list of every Web site they had visited in the last week, or month, or year. But whatever the societal expectations, they can attain constitutionally protected status only if our Fourth Amendment jurisprudence ceases to treat secrecy as a prerequisite for privacy. I would not assume that all information voluntarily disclosed to some member of the public for a limited purpose is, for that reason alone, disentitled to Fourth Amendment protection. See Smith, 442 U. S., at 749 (Marshall, J., dissenting) (“Privacy is not a discrete commodity, possessed absolutely or not at all. Those who disclose certain facts to a bank or phone company for a limited business purpose need not assume that this information will be released to other persons for other purposes”); see also Katz, 389 U. S., at 351–352 (“[W]hat [a person] seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected”). Resolution of these difficult questions in this case is unnecessary, however, because the Government’s physical intrusion on Jones’ Jeep supplies a narrower basis for ecision. I therefore join the majority’s opinion.

Notons que le Projet de loi sur les pouvoirs d’enquêtes au 21e siècle qui fait présentement l’objet d’une étude à Ottawa peut être analysé eu égard à ce qui précède.

Par Me Félix-Antoine T. Doyon