Approximately 96% of all vehicles manufactured since 2013 are equipped with devices called event data recorders-or "black boxes"-that keep track of data such as when the driver brakes, steering, engine rpm during a crash. More sophisticated black boxes record a wealth of information about a person's driving habits ranging from where they go, how fast they drive, and even whether the vehicles systems are in working order. In the hands of law enforcement officers or prosecutors, such data can become powerful evidence in a criminal case.
People often associate the Fourth Amendment with its prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures in the criminal context. However, Fourth Amendment protections apply anytime that an officer of the government detains someone. One of the most common applications of the Fourth Amendment outside the criminal context is "mental-health seizures". The law allows officers to seize a person to ascertain their mental state however the fourth amendment requires that the officer have probable cause that the person is dangerous either to himself or to others before doing so. Just like unlawful arrests, the victims of unlawful mental health seizures can bring a cause of action against the seizing officer for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights.