No Clear Rule On Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Law360, New York (April 1, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT) -- Until fairly recently, cellphones contained only a limited set of data: records of calls initiated and received, lists of phone numbers, and possibly voicemail messages. As cellphones become increasingly sophisticated, however, they hold more and more data. The typical user today carries a cellphone everywhere, complete with its contacts, calendars, voice and text messages, email, videos, photographs, Internet use records, GPS and cellphone tower location tracking data, and information captured by all kind of additional applications, which may include sensitive personal data, like banking and medical information.

Cellphones are a potential treasure trove for law enforcement officers seeking evidence of a...

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