Cell Phones : A New Age Of Digital Privacy Essay

Cell Phones : A New Age Of Digital Privacy Essay

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David Leon Riley was arrested on August 22, 2009 for having possession of firearms. Under Chimel and Robinson, police officers were allowed to search his person and the area around him for potential weapons or possible evidence that could be destroyed without a warrant. Before Riley vs. California this also included his cell phone. Through looking at his cell phone, the police officers found photos and videos of him associated with a gang and they tied him to a shooting of a rival gang weeks prior (Riley v. California). Technology is a rapid force that is changing the very ideals of modern life. Cell phones now contain more information than anything has before and for many people it contains who they are. Many charges have been based solely on information taken from arrestees’ cell phones. Yet when is the line drawn? Once the police officer have access to a cell phone they can know everything that has happened in that person’s life years prior to the arrest. Riley vs. California brought a new age of digital privacy by protecting the valuable information on people’s cell phones. Riley vs. California mandated that now police officers now must obtain a search warrant before looking through a arrestees’ cell phone. The United States is stepping into a new digital era where the laws are no longer black and white, and they must change to protect the rights of citizens. Mandating a search warrant for cell phones is necessary to protect the rights of citizens under United States law.

Hurado 2
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmatio...

... middle of paper ...

... This way their messages couldn’t be used against them and be exposed for a jury to see.
By mandating a warrant for a cell phone search may seem like it will greatly hinder police officer’s duty, but it is the price to pay to protect privacy. There is only two instances a officer can make a warrant less search. First, to eliminate any potential threats and second to protect the evidence from being destroyed. Since cell phones aren’t a physical threat and once taken away can’t be destroyed, there is no reason not to get a warrant. Cell phones carry so much information that they need to be protected to maintain the privacy of the arrestee and others who have contacted him/her. While the police officers are only trying to do their job and
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take criminals off the street, that extra step in getting a warrant allows everyone to have their right of privacy.

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