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US Supreme Court Rules that Cell Phones are Protected by the 4th Amendment

by on26 June 2014 1427 times

There is a term that often gets thrown around when we talk about technology and the way we now store data, reasonable expectation of privacy. This term has been used to get around some of the basic laws we have when it comes to accessing our digital lives. According to many corporations and some law makers, when you put information into a cloud based system (including Facebook) you give up your reasonable expectation of privacy. After all you put your data in someone else’s hands. If you wanted to keep it private you would hold onto it.

It is this twist on what should and should not be kept private that allows for the collection of information in your Gmail, Hotmail and even files you store in cloud storage systems. It has led many in law enforcement to believe that any electronic data is open to search including cell phones. Now that hole has been closed by the US Supreme Court by a ruling saying that searches of Cell Phone data cannot be performed without a warrant.

This ruling is very important as it could be the beginning of a change in the way the law looks at our digital information. One line in their ruling makes things very, very clear when it comes to the treasure trove of personal data we all carry around these days: “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.”

We can only hope that this precedent will allow the rest of our personal information to be protected by the Fourth Amendment in the future.

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Last modified on 26 June 2014
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