I know this post is a little late to the party so to speak - but the ruling from the Supreme Court in June concerning searches of cell phones is simply too important not to discuss.

We all have cell phones and if we take a second and think about the amount of information we pack into our devices, I think we all come to the same conclusion - “I don’t want ANYONE thumbing through my cell - let alone a cop.” Thankfully the all mighty supremes felt the same way. "The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought," the ruling stated. “Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant."

Police Have Long Been Allowed To Conduct Warrantless Searches

Yes, it is true that our laws often provide police with the ability to search people, their cars, their purses and even their cigarette packs or wallets without a warrant. The reasoning behind these warrantless searches is officer safety and to prevent destruction of evidence. In other words to ensure someone does not have a weapon that could be used against an officer and / or to prevent a person from tossing their wallet stuffed with heroine baggies into the sewer.

But Cellphones Are Simply Different And Require More Protection 

"Modern cell phones, as a category, implicate privacy concerns far beyond those implicated by the search of a cigarette pack, a wallet, or a purse," said Chief Justice John Roberts. "Cell phones differ in both a quantitative and a qualitative sense from other objects that might be kept on an arrestee's person." 

By these words it is clear that the Court agrees that modern technology deserves the protections afforded us by the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. Our private information is no longer on a piece of paper in a safe. It's in the form of data, and it's on our cell phone, or in that thing they call the "cloud." If police can access your cell phone without a warrant, they can access your entire life. A thought scary enough for the cell phone carrying Justices to come to a unanimous decision. 

Remember Its Not Only “Real Criminals” Who Get Arrested Or Stopped By Police

It is always important to remember that police can arrest you for minor traffic infractions and more likely than not - you have your cell phone on you when you are driving. Now, just because you  have been arrested for driving without a license - should that arresting officer be entitled to swipe through your texts, pictures and search history? 

Thankfully, the Supreme Court answered this question with a very loud NO! 

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