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U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Cell Phone Search Cases

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Cell Phone Search Cases

The United States Supreme Court Tuesday will begin hearing arguments in two cases that are expected to be a major test of how to interpret the Fourth Amendment in the digital age.

The Court will consider whether or not police officers need warrants to search the cell phones of people they arrest.

The justices will have to decide how the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of "unreasonable search and seizures" applies to devices that contain loads of data.

The courts do allow searches without warrants in connection with arrests.

But, since police have the authority to make arrests for fine-only infractions like driving without a seat belt or jay-walking, some legal experts argue that allowing them to search text, photo, and video files on smart phones could be a compromise of personal privacy.

The cases are considered tremendously important, since more than 90 percent of American adults own cell phones, and 58 percent of those are smart phones that could potentially contain large amounts of what would normally be considered private information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo: Alex Wong / 2014 Getty Images)

 

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