Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Cell Phone Searches
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that cell phone searches are allowed upon arrest. However the search must be directly related to the search and police must keep detailed notes of the investigation.
The decision, released on December 11, 2014, saw the Supreme Court divided 4 to 3, with the minority arguing against allowing cell phone searches, arguing that cell phones and personal computers need protection as “an intensely personal and uniquely personal sphere.”
Further, the court ruled that an individual’s decision not to password protect her cell phone does not indicate an abandonment of the “significant privacy interests” a person has in the contents of the phone.
This is a very significant decision given the prevalence of cell phones in society and the vast amounts of personal data stored on them.
If you have been subjected to a cell phone search, you need expert advice from a lawyer with experience in dealing with search and seizure issues.