High court could weigh in on cellphone searches

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Associated Press

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 16 at 1:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court could say as early as Friday whether it will resolve a new clash over privacy and technology in the digital age.

The justices are considering two cases involving warrantless police searches of the cellphones of people they have arrested.

More than 40 years after the court ruled that police don't need a search warrant to look through anything a person is carrying when arrested, federal and state courts are increasingly divided over whether those rules should apply to cellphones, which have the capacity to store vast amounts of data, including highly personal information.

The Pew Research Center says more than 90 percent of Americans own at least one cellphone, and the majority of those are smartphones — essentially portable computers that are also telephones.

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