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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the implications of digital technologies for civil liberties and for the translation problem by looking at four case studies, each of which shows how technology and social norms have changed to allow substantially greater government access to personal information. The chapter first traces the origins of the translation problem and the trouble with telephonic communications before discussing a new type of information, location information, and how courts have addressed the translation problem when location information is involved. It then considers how GPS and other location-tracking technologies have stretched the law to its doctrinal limits. It also explores the translation problem in the contexts of smartphones and the cloud, as well as how a single doctrine of judicial interpretation, the third-party doctrine, has threatened civil liberties worldwide. Finally, it describes the translation problem in the European Union.

Keywords: digital technologies, civil liberties, translation problem, telephonic communications, location information, GPS, smartphones, the cloud, third-party doctrine, European Union

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