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SCOTUS to examine cell phone data privacy

Jon Elswick / AP

The Supreme Court said Monday it would weigh whether law enforcement needs to get a warrant when it wants cell phone data to figure out someone's location.

Why it matters: Privacy groups say some of the key precedents concerning phone records and police searches are out of date. This will be one of the most significant tests yet of how the court will balance decades-old law against the realities of the smartphone era.

Let's get technical: The case in question concerns a man convicted of a robbery partly because of evidence of his cell phone connecting with specific equipment, providing information on his location at the time. An appeals court has previously ruled that authorities didn't have to get a warrant to obtain the information.