Cops should need warrant to search cellphone, lawyer tells Supreme Court

Cell phone.(AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER / FILES)

Cell phone.(AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER / FILES)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 4:47 PM ET

OTTAWA — The immense volume and highly private nature of information contained on cellphones should be reason enough to require police obtain warrants prior to searching any device, lawyer Sam Goldstein argued before the Supreme Court on Friday.

“This is the leading case in Canada and it will affect your digital privacy rights in the future,” Goldstein told QMI Agency of the landmark privacy case.

Goldstein represents Kevin Fearon, who robbed a jewelry stall at a Toronto flea market in July 2009. When police found the getaway car, they gave Fearon a pat-down and found his cellphone.

The phone was unlocked and wasn’t password-protected. Goldstein argued unsuccessfully at the provincial level that the search and seizure of Fearon’s phone breached his charter right to privacy.


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