Want to track cellphones? Get a warrant, lawmakers say

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  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the StingRay II, a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla. Lawmakers in several states, concerned about privacy and unreasonable search and seizure violations, are proposing legislation in January 2017 to prevent police officers from using cellphone tracking devices without warrants. Cell-site simulators mimic cell towers and allow police to track the location of cell phones in a particular neighborhood in real time. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the StingRay II, a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla. Lawmakers in several states, ... concerned about privacy and unreasonable search and seizure violations, are proposing legislation in January 2017 to prevent police officers from using cellphone tracking devices without warrants. Cell-site simulators mimic cell towers and allow police to track the location of cell phones in a particular neighborhood in real time. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office via AP, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the StingRay II, a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla. Lawmakers in several states, concerned about privacy and unreasonable search and seizure violations, are proposing legislation in January 2017 to prevent police officers from using cellphone tracking devices without warrants. Cell-site simulators mimic cell towers and allow police to track the location of cell phones in a particular neighborhood in real time. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the StingRay II, a cellular site simulator used for surveillance purposes manufactured by Harris Corporation, of Melbourne, Fla. Lawmakers in several states, ... concerned about privacy and unreasonable search and seizure violations, are proposing legislation in January 2017 to prevent police officers from using cellphone tracking devices without warrants. Cell-site simulators mimic cell towers and allow police to track the location of cell phones in a particular neighborhood in real time. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office via AP, File) (The Associated Press)

Law enforcement cellphone tracking devices are coming under scrutiny in at least eight states, with lawmakers introducing proposals ranging from warrant requirements to an outright ban.

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Legislators are citing privacy and constitutional concerns, including Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations. The eight states include California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and South Carolina.

The suitcase-size devices are widely known under a brand name, Stingray. They mimic cellphone towers and allow law enforcement to track the location of cellphones in real-time.

At least 13 states already have passed laws requiring police to get warrants to track cellphones in real time.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has identified 70 law enforcement agencies in 23 states and the District of Columbia that own cell-site simulators.