In recent privacy protection news, the California Supreme Court ruled that a police officer has the right to seize and search your cell phone without a warrant in the event you are arrested.
“The California Supreme Court allowed police Monday to search arrestees’ cell phones without a warrant, saying defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they’re carrying when taken into custody,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
In an overwhelming 5-2 ruling the California State Court has declared that police officers are permitted to seize and examine anything (including cell phones) of importance in which they find on an arrestee.
The California State Court’s decision was made in large part based on the 1970’s high court ruling “Upholding searches of cigarette packages and clothing that officers seized during an arrest and examined later without seeking a warrant from a judge,” notes San Francisco Chronicle. Many objected to this decision and these protestors believe the rulings should not apply to cell phones and the information stored therein.
In December 2009 the Ohio Supreme Court reached a similar conclusion, and there is speculation that these rulings could force the nation’s high court to examine the issue on a national scale. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Police Department stating the Department did not violate privacy by reading an officer’s texts sent on a department-owned phone, however the the court has never ruled on police searches of cell phones, according to SF Chronicle.”