A HUGE legal decision for the digital age. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court broadened your Constitutional Right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. Police now need a warrant to search your cell phone data.
Why the Decision?
Prior to this ruling, police were able to go through your cell phone records incident to a lawful arrest. Police were able to literally scroll through your pictures, text, and stored data to search for incriminating evidence.
Being that cell phones now store a lot more than just phone numbers, the court has ruled that a warrant MUST be obtained before scrolling through someone’s phone. Pictures, videos, and your GPS location are now protected by the 4th Amend of the US Constitution.
What this Decision Means to You
If you ever get into a situation where law enforcement has access to your cell phone, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS! Let the Officer know that he needs a warrant to search private info on your phone and in NO WAY do you consent to a search.
Do not let an Officer intimidate you into accessing your cell phone. A lot of times officers use tactics which tend to put people in awkward situations. Officers will say thing like “if you don’t let me search this phone, I’ll get a warrant and you will never get this phone back!” These are scare tactics and regardless of what is said DO NOT CONSENT to a search of any kind.
Even if you feel nothing incriminating will come from this, it is still in your best interest to refuse and well within your constitutionally protected rights.