It has generally been recognised by American courts that all warrantless searches are unreasonable unless a specific reason to exempt it has been established. The protection against unreasonableness in search and seizure has been given a wide interpretation. However the decision of what is considered reasonable or not remains subjective. It depends on such considerations as situations wherein the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Thus standard of reasonableness is generally only fulfilled when a search is conducted after obtaining a warrant. This measure serves to protect the interests of the individual searched because the magistrate is presumed to be an impartial observer who would require the police to provide some probable…show more content… The necessity stems from the requirement to maintain security which provides the state with the restricted mandate to do any and all things essential to maintain law and order. This includes obtaining information for investigation of criminal activities. The restriction has been created based on the recognition of the prevalence or possibility of state-sponsored coercion and the impact this would have on individual freedoms. Digital information is growing exponentially as a vital source of information in modern day investigations. Furthermore, specific crimes that have appeared in the new technological age, namely, crimes related to the internet, require investigation almost entirely in terms of digital evidence. The role of courts and policy makers, then, is to balance the state’s mandate to acquire information with the citizens’ right to protect…show more content… Thus it held that neither situation applies when considering digital evidence – no digital evidence can be used as a weapon that could hurt the police and the police may take measures to prevent the data from being deleted such as disconnecting the phone from the network. The Court created a distinction between cell phones and other items that are normally seized from the person arrested, like a wallet, by emphasizing that cell phones stored an enormous amount of personal information. It also stated that information such as cloud storage which could be accessed through the phone was not even “on the arrestee’s person.” However, it was held that in certain emergencies, warrantless searches of phones may be allowed – the emergency must be such that the interest of the government is at stake, it should be urgent and compelling and this would render the search reasonable.
Meanwhile in an opinion concurring in part Justice Alito expressed doubts about the characterisation by the court of the necessity of warrantless searches at the time of arrest (stating that the two could possibly not be the sole reasons). However he stated that the right to privacy superseded any such necessity in this particular situation and so agreed