Can a police officer search the contents of our cellphones without first
obtaining a warrant? This question has been at the center of intense debate
over recent years, with advocates of personal privacy raising an outcry
over the apparent increase in the intrusive approaches taken by law enforcement
around the country. When a law enforcement officer is investigating you
for suspicion of a crime, the contents of your smart phone may come into
question, including your photos, contacts, call history, text messages,
and web searching history.
The U.S. Supreme court has ended this debate with a unanimous landmark
ruling. The Court ruled in favor of applying Fourth Amendment protections
to cases involving evidence on a our phones. Under the Fourth Amendment,
a person's right against unreasonable search and seizure is extended
to "persons, houses, papers, and effects," which clearly include
a smart phone. In the words of Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the opinion
for the Court, cell phones are "not just another technological convenience."
Instead, they are an indispensable part of our daily life, and the personal
information contained on them is protected against warrantless searches.
Mark Correro Comments on Cellphone Privacy Ruling
"Today, the Supreme Court ended warrantless searches of mobile phones,"
Mark A. Correro, "because such practices are invasive and illegal. This victory validates
our privacy rights and ensures that law enforcement can't randomly
search through the vast amounts of personal data stored on our phones." The
attorneys of Stornello & Correro are staunch defenders of the U.S. Constitution, and they are serious about
protecting the rights that are secured to us under law. They are pleased
to see that the Supreme Court has struck a major blow in the fight to
protect civil liberties and the rights of the accused.