The law enforcement department sometimes gives some new verdicts which bring a new set of rules, and that’s what happened recently. In Seattle’s district court, the judge Coughenour gave the results of the case in favour of Joseph Sam, who was arrested for robbery and assault in May 2019. While releasing the results of this case, judge Coughenour said that looking at someone’s smartphone is also going to require a search warrant. Since getting access to the smartphone is also a violation of someone’s privacy without their prior consent. In this case, the arresting officer before arresting Sam unlocked his smartphone and searched it.
The judge said it could be doable in some cases since the existing law gives them this right. However, without a proper search warrant, police officers can’t look at the smartphone of an arresting person. In this case, when the arresting officer went to the accused house for arrest, he unblocked his phone and checked it. According to the District Court, a police officer can check the phone in some circumstances without any warrant. However, if they are going to do that again, and again that too without proper order, then it’s not permitted. When the FBI officer, after some months went to Sam’s house for enquiry, he checked his smartphone without any warrant which, according to the judge, it’s wrong.
The police officer shouldn’t have clicked the phone of Sam’s phone without carrying a permit about it. However, it seems like this case has brought some new changes to the way police investigate someone’s smartphone. The privacy issues, whether on social media platforms or any platform, are getting already considered by the government agencies. This new decision to have a search warrant before an enquiry is also going to affect overall data privacy issues.