Issues involving the relationship of procedural Criminal Law and Smartphone technology have reached the Supreme Court. Our highest Court is now considering the question of whether the police have the right, at the time of an arrest, to inspect a suspect’s cell phone, without a warrant.
One of the key legal issues to be resolved is the question of whether an arrested has such an expectation of privacy in the contents of a phone so as to require a Judge to issue a warrant, prior to police intrusion.
For instance, many of our phones have apps that will allow access to our personal banking. Surely the police would be interested in the banking activity of a suspected drug dealer to bolster the prosecution. However, we must consider whether such information is “public” merely because it is accessible through a phone.
It is very interesting to note that Canada’s highest appellate Court is also reviewing a strikingly similar case.