Supreme Court says police must get warrants for most cellphone searches
The Supreme Court unequivocally ruled Wednesday that privacy rights are not sacrificed to 21st- century technology, saying unanimously that police generally must obtain a warrant before searching the cellphone of someone they arrest.
While the specific protection may not affect the average American, the court made a bold statement that the same concern about government prying that animated the nation’s birth applies to the abundance of digital information about an individual in the modern world.
Modern cellphones “hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for a court united behind the opinion’s expansive language. “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.”
Roberts said that in most cases when police seize a cellphone from a suspect, the answer is simple: “Get a warrant.”