Title

'You'll need my fingerprint': are police allowed to search your phone?

Date of this Version

2016

Document Type

Popular Press

Publication Details

Published version

Raj, M. (2016, July 25). 'You'll need my fingerprint': are police allowed to search your phone? The Conversation: Academic rigour, journalistic flair.

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© Copyright The Author

Distribution License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

Extract:

Consider the following scenarios:

1.A police officer stops you on the street and asks you to empty your pockets.

2.A police officer stops you in your car and asks to search you and the vehicle.

Regardless of nearly all factors, one of the items recovered will inevitably be a mobile phone. But in what circumstances can police search your phone? Must they obtain a search warrant? And what will happen if you refuse to provide your passcode or fingerprint required to access your phone?

A 2014 study found that of 1,519 people surveyed, 69% secured their smartphone with a password or passcode. Perhaps one of the reasons is because in just four swipes on the interface of your phone, another person can access a wealth of your personal information