If you need another reason to turn on the auto password lock timer on your phone, this is it! The California Supreme court determined through a majority 5-2 decision today that if you are arrested a cop can search the entire contents of your cell phone without a warrant. Justices Kathryn Mickle Werdegar and Carlos Moreno wrote in dissent,
I have to agree with the fact that a cell phone can contain as much information as a full filing cabinet that you would keep in your home. If you need a warrant to open a filing cabinet, then I would argue that you need a warrant to see the contents of the cell phone. And you just know that cops will abuse this and search cell phones before making the decision to arrest you.
The best protection is to turn on encryption and the auto lock timer feature so that your phone locks automatically when not in use. Sure, it’s a pain in the ass to put in your password every single time, but your privacy is worth it in the long run should you ever be in the wrong place at the wrong time.