Is Your Cell Phone Data Private | Business
The controversy of access to cell phone data by law enforcement has reached the courts. Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Cyberstalking and event Texting when driving has created new and demanding changes to access of cell phone records and stored data. The increased use of cell phones by terrorist and extremist groups has called for increased scrutiny of the collection and transmission of data by federal and local law enforcement.
Law enforcement has for years obtained
warrants for cell phones that suspected
individuals are using for criminal activity.
Obtaining this information has been a
challenge. The question of privacy has
raised concern and public attention for
the enforcement of Constitutional rights.
Most cell phone users believe that their
content that is in a digital format cannot
be shared or accessed without permission,
but this is not true. The 5th District Court
of Appeals ruled in 'Florida vs Ricardo
Glasco' that law enforcement can search
a cell phone without a warrant. The Stored
Communications Act that exists does not
need to show probable cause to
access e-mails or electronic information
that has been stored on a server for more
than six months by wireless companies.
Digital communication creates a paradigm
for digital information. Applying the
Constitution of the Unites States where
illegal search and seizure would apply,
this makes the rulings questionable because
the founding fathers were not aware of
digital communication in the form of
Smartphone’s, Tablets and other
Storing of data for most companies at
least three years and IP (Internet Protocol)
information for three or more years. IP
Protocols allow cell phones to access
the Internet so data can be uploaded
or downloaded. Each device has a number
that allows the Internet to “see” the phone
as a connected node online.
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV)
to the United States Constitution. Many of
the issues that law enforcement must address,
a matter of public safety v. privacy. Laws
were not and still are not able to properly
address the advances of technology. When
youth as young as 7 can manipulate a
Smartphone to access online content that
spans the world we live in, engage in
multimedia games like Angry Bird and
Angry Sharks, access Google Maps that
can pinpoint anywhere in the world and
the ability to communicate instantly by
voice, text, video and audio these capabilities
allow for terrorist groups and extremists to
create potential dangers to the public.
Smartphone’s can capture pictures, video,
text conversations, emails, banking
information and much more. As I have
taught my Educational Technology class
at Edward Waters College and during
workshops and presentations with youth.
Youth do not realize that their data never
really goes away. It is stored on a server
Smartphone’s are a computer with all the
tools (protocols) of a laptop or tablet.
Youth send more text messaging than
voice data. Many do not realize that
in text messaging detailed information
on who you text and what you text is
keep hold of for a minimum of a year,
but some companies keeping it for up
to seven years or longer; the same for
video and pictures.
Many in law enforcement rationalize
just that and work to keep up with the
growing capabilities of wireless technology.
In other court rulings, ”The federal
appellate court ruled that a criminal
suspect cannot be forced to give you
the password to phone or computer."
Results may change in the other direction
with the world wide war on terrorism grows;
citizens need to understand that the
5th District Court of Appeals ruling changes
many perceptions and ideas about their
protections for electronic devices. Just as
computers can be seized when there is
child porn detected, this ruling can be
applied to Smartphone’s when the potential
arises for revealing criminal activity
Technology is changing many rules of
communication. These changes affect
current and future laws and the ability
to prosecute criminals, but also make
sure the innocent’s rights are protected.
The increase of minorities using wireless
technology this may show cause for alarm
because of the implications of Digital Profiling
against minority groups. Pew Internet &
American Life Project reported 64 percent
of African Americans access the Internet over
their laptop or mobile phone in 2011. This is
an increase from 57 percent who said they
did in 2009 and the numbers are growing
because of the increased wireless speeds.
Aaron Smith, author of the Pew report, stated,
"The mobile population is becoming more diverse
over time and more people are relying on their
cell phones as their primary form of wireless
connectivity.” Even lower income families that
cannot afford Internet in their homes use wireless
phones to surf the web and gather information.
Caution and wisdom is needed in creating digital
content on any device. In the world of digital sniffers,
digital watchdogs, and digital robots that probe the
Internet for dangerous content everyone must be
aware and informed. That App t hat you download
may do more than play music, use GPS or find a
good restaurant. It may be checking your data and
sending it someplace else.