01
May
14

Court’s Dilemma: Is a Smartphone a Home Away From Home?

On Tuesday, the court heard arguments in a California case raising the issue of whether police should have to obtain a warrant before searching the contents of a smartphone. David Leon Riley was initially pulled over because his car had expired tags. After police found guns in the car, they arrested Riley and searched through what one detective called “lots of stuff” on his Samsung smartphone, including evidence of gang affiliation and a photo showing Riley and another man posing near a car that had been involved in a shooting.

In previous cases the Supreme Court has upheld the warrantless search of objects on the persons of people taken into custody. But that was in the days before smartphones, which can contain a multitude of personal information.

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