Phones in general, and smartphones in particular, have become the center of our lives. We not only use them for calls and texts, but information contained on these devices is vast, varying from emails to pictures, and documents. That being the case, phone search conducted by the Police has received some limits, according to a Wednesday Supreme Court ruling.
Among items found on those arrested by the Police, phones are considered “powerful devices unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest”, according to the Supreme Court. The ruling states that the Police can not conduct a phone search unless a search warrant has been issued.
“Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life”, said Chief Justice John Roberts.
There is, however, an exception to the warrant requirement: whenever officers “reasonably fear for their safety or the lives of others”. In case authorities are concerned about the contents of a phone, they can take necessary measures to prevent activation of content encryption, or actions that would remotely erase information on the device.
Source: Associated Press