…What most donors and voters do not know is the broad data sharing liberties candidates are taking. It is becoming clear voters’ personal data may be more valuable than their donations alone. In September, the Online Trust Alliance released our audit of privacy and data security practices of the 23 leading contenders for the office of president.
Senator Cruz goes further than any other candidate, stating that, “in order to maximize your experience with our website and to provide its features and services, we may periodically access your contact list and/or address book on your mobile device. You hereby give your express consent to access your contact list and/or address book.” This and other related practices contributed to 74 percent of the candidate’s receiving failing grades in the audit.
In a 4-3 decision, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Friday that with a warrant, it’s ok for police to search anywhere on a seized phone that may reasonably turn up evidence of the crime under investigation.
In the case of Commonwealth v. Dorelas, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (MSJC) found that because the Boston Police Department (BPD) had a warrant to search a criminal suspect’s seized iPhone, it could access his photos as well.
However, in the virtual world, it is not enough to simply permit a search to extend anywhere the targeted electronic objects possibly could be found, as data possibly could be found anywhere within an electronic device. T hus, what might have been an appropriate limitation in the physical world becomes a limitation without consequence in the virtual one.
Nevertheless, much like a home, such devices can still appropriately be searched when there is probable cause to believe they contain particularized evidence.
We must not be taken in by the shape and size of a device that permits access to massive stores of information of different kinds. Where possible—recognizing that it not always is—it may be best to treat such a device more like a city than like a packing crate. Here, there was no impediment to limiting the search to certain types and categories of files stored in specific sections of the iPhone's data storage. Because there was no substantial basis for believing that the entire set of photograph files on the defendant's iPhone contained evidence related to the shooting, that portion of the iPhone should not have been included in the "place" to be searched.