“Can I look at your phone?”
We can’t live without our phones- they keep us in touch with the world around us, our friends, family and unfortunately, work. If you consider what your phone knows about you- where you are, where you’ve been, who you’re talking to and what you’re saying. In fact, your phone may know more about you than any one other person in your life.
So what happens if the police want to look at your phone?
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that barring certain kinds of emergencies, police either need your permission or a warrant to search your phone, even if they’ve arrested you for a crime.
police either need your permission or a warrant to search your phone, even if they’ve arrested you for a crime.
What should you do?
- Use a screen lock or password to prevent the police or others from accessing your phone without your permission.
- If possible, have the phone encrypt its contents– see here http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-encrypt-data-on-your-smartphone/
- If police ask to look at your phone, say in a clear and polite manner: “I do not consent to any searches of my phone”. If they take it from you, do not unlock it for them or give them the password.
- If you are arrested, clearly state that you are remaining silent until you talk to an attorney.