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Katz v. the United States

Katzv. the United States


TheKatzv. the United Statescase plays a significant role in articulating the rationalexpectations of privacy. It is the test used to decide when theintrusion of the government comprises of a ‘search’ as mentionedin the in the Fourth Amendment (Fradella et al., 2011). It is thegreatest touchstone in the privacy law, and the memoir by JudgeSneider on his experiences as the lawyer to Charles Katz gives aclear picture of the foundation of a critical legal doctrine.

Standardthat the Court Imposed

Accordingto the Court`s opinion, the Fourth Amendment only protectedindividuals and not places. However, the tricky question remainedabout the protection afforded to the people. The answer to thisissue generally needs mentioning a ‘place.` Justice Harlan in hisopinion argued that the rule that developed from the past verdictspresented twofold requirements (Fradella et al., 2011). Theindividual has portrayed subjective anticipation of privacy, whichshould be one that the society is ready to acknowledge as rational.Subsequently, a person’s homestead mostly refers to an environmentfrom which he or she experience total privacy nevertheless,statements and actions that he reveals to the outside world are notprotected because no intentions have been shown to keep them private(Jacob, 2014). Besides, conversations to other parties are notprotected from being overheard since the expectation of privacy insuch a context is unreasonable.


Ibelieve that this standard is in conflict with the domestic laws andeven the global human rights norms. It is a violation of one`s rightto privacy and freedom of expression.

However,in my opinion, I agree with the government collection of data on itscitizen. With the alarming terror attacks, such data can be crucialin tracking down not only terrorists but also other petty criminals.


Fradella,H. F., Morrow, W. J., Fischer, R. G., &amp Ireland, C. (2011).Quantifying Katz: Empirically Measuring &quotReasonable Expectationsof Privacy&quot in the Fourth Amendment Context. AmericanJournal of Criminal Law,38(3),289-373.

JacobHenerey, W. (2014). Where have you been? Your phone knows (and somight the police). SouthCarolina Law Review,65(4),709-733.