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Supreme Court Decision Sparks Concerns About Cell Phone Privacy

Being arrested in California now means the police can look through the contents of your cell phone. The State Supreme Court has issued a ruling that many critics call an invasion of privacy. Michael Vitiello, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law, said it’s easy to believe suspected criminals have no privacy rights.

“We all have the right to be free from unreasonable conduct and when we say that the police can do it when it is a bad guy, that also means the police can typically do it when it’s ordinary citizens,” Vitiello said.

He said the ruling does extend police power over people who are arrested, but not a great deal and the case will likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, since other states have come to different conclusions in similar cases. Just a few years ago the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that it was a violation of defendants’ rights to look through their cell phones.

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