Microsoft Poll: Most Americans Support Cell Phone Warrants
The majority of Americans approve of the Supreme Court's recent decision, which requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search cell phones.In a June 25 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed that cell phone searches by police require a warrant. Industry and privacy groups aren't the only ones pleased with the decision, so are a majority of Americans, according to Microsoft. Eighty-three percent of American voters are siding with the nation's Chief Justices' belief that police should be legally required to obtain a warrant before conducting a search of a person's cell phone, according to a survey conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove, a public opinion research firm. Microsoft sponsored the study of 800 registered voters. Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, said in a statement that the recent Supreme Court ruling "shifted the scales of justice in a profound way." The judges, he said "noted that phones today are often a gateway to the email and pictures we now store in the cloud, and these deserve the same constitutional protection we've traditionally had for things kept in our homes." Soon after the Supreme Court passed its "historic" decision, Smith said that it "will be remembered as another seminal moment in advancing privacy protection." It was a sign that the nation's laws were starting to catch up with the times, he argued. "The court put a stake firmly in the ground and effectively declared that privacy protection must account for new technologies."
Chief John Roberts stated in the court's opinion that cell phones today "are not just another technological convenience," but rather a trove of potentially revealing private information. "The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought," he said.