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Cell Phone Search, Rights Debated in Florida

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

July 16, 2012

Two Florida court cases have ruled that police act within the law when they search arrestees’ cell phones without a warrant, but some civil rights groups say they should have to demonstrate probable cause to a judge in order to conduct such searches, reports Naples News. One police spokeswoman says this is “search, incident to arrest,” not a Fourth Amendment issue, adding that with the ability to erase data remotely, in the time it takes officers to obtain a warrant arrestees could delete relevant data. In one case, a Florida appeals court expressed concern over giving law enforcement “unbridled discretion” in cell phone searches. The case is headed to the Florida Supreme Court for review.
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