Post Tagged with: "fearon"

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Supreme Court’s Privacy Streak Comes To End: Split Court Affirms Legality of Warrantless Phone Searches Incident to Arrest

The Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in R. v. Fearon today, a case involving the legality of a warrantless cellphone search by police during an arrest. Given the court’s strong endorsement of privacy in recent cases such as Spencer, Vu, and Telus, this seemed like a slam dunk. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Riley, which addressed similar issues and ruled that a warrant is needed to search a phone, further suggested that the court would continue its streak of pro-privacy decisions.

To the surprise of many, a divided court upheld the ability of police to search cellphones without a warrant incident to an arrest. The majority established some conditions, but ultimately ruled that it could navigate the privacy balance by establishing some safeguards with the practice. A strongly worded dissent disagreed, noting the privacy implications of access to cellphones and the need for judicial pre-authorization as the best method of addressing the privacy implications.

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December 11, 2014 66 comments News

Supreme Court of Canada To Hear Appeal of Warrantless Cellphone Search Case

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in the Fearon case, which involved an Ontario Court of Appeal decision permitting a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest. I referenced the case in a brief post […]

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July 15, 2013 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Ontario Court of Appeal Permits Warrantless Search of Cellphone Without Password Protection

In a surprising and troubling decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has permitted a police search of a cellphone that was not password protected or locked during the course of an arrest.  The court found that the police had a reasonable belief that the phone might contain relevant evidence and […]

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February 22, 2013 19 comments News