Cell-phone privacy ruling

Recently the Supreme Court handed down a monumental decision based upon the Fourth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which protects citizens’ right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. The decision certainly also implied an inherent right to privacy found in both the First and Fourth Amendments protections.

The Supreme Court simply held that the police have no right to search through the data on a cell phone after they have arrested someone for a crime. The Court acknowledged that the information that we contain in our cell phones is of a private character and stores unlimited amounts of information about us that can only be intruded upon by probable cause shown to a neutral, detached magistrate, who then issues a search warrant.

Since most of us, in essence, carry our lives with us in our smart phones, the Supreme Court noted that the people need these protections. Allowing the police to go through someone’s smart phone upon arrest, in essence, would be like allowing the police to know every detail of our lives.

I commend the Supreme Court for understanding that with this new technology the law must evolve and continue to protect citizens’ rights.

Jamie Benjamin, president, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Fort Lauderdale