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US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Protecting Privacy of Cellphones During an Arrest. What Drove This Decision?

It's been reported according to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that cell phone ownership among adults has exceeded 90%. Cell phones are now being used by 91% of adults, according to the survey conducted between April 17 and May 19 of 2,252 adults. They also reported in 2013 that a big part of the cell adoption story is the rise of the smartphone and in this same survey; we found that 56% of American adults have smartphones. That means someone has access to their e-mails, browsing history on the internet, contacts, documents and now more Americans are using their mobiles for home security monitoring. The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cell phones of people they arrest. This is a huge victory to protect the privacy of Americans. Remember the last time you lost your cell phone and the panic and the fear of someone obtaining your personal information or even worse your passwords being stolen. The "US Weekly" reports that while the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies. “This is a bold opinion,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the court, was keenly alert to the central role that cell phones play in contemporary life. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand,” the chief justice also wrote, “does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought. On the other side of the balance, Chief Justice Roberts said, is the data contained on typical cell phones. Ninety percent of Americans have them, he wrote, and they contain “a digital record of nearly every aspect of their lives — from the mundane to the intimate.”

He wrote, “According to one poll, nearly three-quarters of smartphone users report being within five feet of their phones most of the time, with 12 percent admitting that they even use their phones in the shower.” Even the word cell phone is a misnomer, he said. “They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, Rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers,” he wrote.

Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that the decision would make law enforcement more difficult. “Cell phones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals,” he wrote. “Privacy comes at a cost.”But other technologies, he said, can make it easier for the police to obtain warrants. Using email and iPads, the chief justice wrote, officers can sometimes have a warrant in hand in 15 minutes.

Let's face it America cell phones are no longer just cell phones, they capture videos and special moments in our lives. You wouldn't loan a stranger and sometimes not even a close friend your phone?............... pay phones are obsolete. We treat our phones like safe deposit boxes at the bank. What are your thoughts? Go to our Facebook Page Kalfus & Nachman and chime.....

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