Canadians are using cellphones and tablets as mobile storage devices for much of their personal information more and more these days and it might not be as secure as they would expect.


A recent ruling in the Court of Appeal for Ontario by Justice Robert Armstrong and two other judges  acknowledged “the highly personal and sensitive nature” of cellphone and mobile device contents and the “high expectation of privacy”,  yet they upheld the right of police who are making an arrest to make a “cursory” search of the suspect’s cellphone contents without a judge’s warrant if  the device is not password-protected.


With information like phone numbers, email addresses,  passwords, medical records, and internet browsing history’s, aswell as access to  Facebook and Twitter accounts easily available on most devices one would be well advised to include a simple password to protect their privacy.


The Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the situation but the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is taking a stand on the issue,saying police should be required to obtain a search warrant before making any type of search of a persons personal electronic devices except in the “most extreme of circumstances”.


Police, in the heat of an arrest should not have the authority to conduct such a search but there is no denying the need of the seizure of these devices as they may contain pertinent information to the investigation at hand.  Canada has Judges and Search Warrants as part of our legal system for just this reason, and any ruling that may bypass Canadians privacy rights needs to be amended.


Password protect your phone, even seemingly harmless information can be misconstrued by authorities or anyone who gets ahold of your device, it’s not worth the three seconds you save not entering four digits to unlock it.





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