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," said attorney 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.