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Thursday, January 24, 2008

If you plan to break traffic laws, let your cell phone home

Here's a frightening but real proposition: if you are caught breaking certain traffic laws, not only do police have the right to search you—they can go through all your electronic data as well—your text messages, call histories, browsing history, downloaded emails and photos. In a recent academic paper, South Texas Assistant Professor Adam Gershowitz explains that because many traffic violations are arrestable offenses, just as a cop could search your pockets for drugs, said cop can also search your pockets for a smartphone and go through all its contents. The same is true for any standard arrest, and given the amount of data in current smartphones, it's a scary proposition (even for law-abiding citizens like us).

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