In a sweeping endorsement for privacy, the Supreme Court ruled today that authorities must have a warrant to search personal mobile devices, such as cell phones. In this day and age, it's rare to see someone without a cell phone in hand.
Today, in a historic and unanimous ruling, the supreme court decided all that digital information on your cell phone can no longer be searched without a warrant. Privacy advocates say this is probably the most important privacy ruling in the digital age that we have gotten from the court thus far.
Chief Justice Roberts essentially called cell phones mini computers stating, "Modern cell phones are not just an other technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life."
The government argued police officers needed to see this information to protect officers or to prevent a person from trying to destroy evidence. Judge Roberts said the digital information can *not* be used to hurt an officer and police can still seize the phone. Privacy advocates celebrated the victory saying, "the information that we keep in our phones that reflects some of the most basic elements of our lives that should be protected against police searches.
Justice Roberts said the ruling would affect law enforcement but said that privacy comes at a cost. The Department of Justice says it will ensure law enforcement works within the confines of this ruling while also continuing to do their job.