Police Searches and Technology

Search and seizure of items during an arrest is a sensitive matter since some of the surrendered items can have extremely personal information on them. It is exceptionally true for electronic devices, especially cell phones which have become the staple of the modern world. Mobile phones are recognized by the government authorities as possessing a high level of privacy (Hoplin 88). Since the desicion of the Supreme Court in 2014, an unwarranted search and seizure of mobile devices has been deemed unconstitutional. However, law enforcement does not always adhere to this ruling with the argument that in terms of the property spectrum, a cell phone has more resemblance to a person’s home (Raj and Russ 99). Given that these procedures are unlawful, the police should not have the ability to search a person’s phone during an arrest. The urgency of time-sensitive evidence changes this perspective because the possible outcomes of not accessing this evidence might result in severe injury or death. When matters concern human life, it is of utmost critical to perform all actions necessary to prevent harming it, which in this case, includes a warrantless search.

Nowadays, a person’s cell phone is essentially a culmination of all of their activities. Applications allow to handle banking, dating, traveling, and communication with loved ones through mobile phones. With the continuous development of technologies, human existence will continue to change, which might impact civil liberties. The most debated civil right that is associated with the rise of technology and social media is the freedom of speech. As time goes on, the influence of online communities might overtake this civil liberty, instilling fear of ostracism in people.

America as a nation could be called both racist and sexist. There is undeniable evidence of systematic racism and oppression being prominent in American society and culture (Hunt 90). These tendencies are rooted in the early colonial social systems and are exhibited nowadays through pay gaps and unequal representation in media. The foundation of racism and sexism is the assumption of the existence of a group of people that are inferior to another group of people. To call the whole American nation racist or sexist would be to partake in the same line of thinking as a racist or a sexist would. When talking about issues of inequality, it is important to recognize the diversity of the socio-political landscape in order to give voice to those who are silenced.

The constant focus on the “ism’s” can lead to the same effects as sexism and racism, which is inequality and division. It is natural for people to have an identity, both a unique one and a social one. Personal identity is more of a private matter, whereas a social identity is a subject of a more substantial outside influence. If the entirety of the American nation is assigned a label of the racist and sexist institute, there will be people who will accept it as a fact that does not need disproval. In order for civil rights to be distributed equally, it is vital that the oppressed groups of society understand that they deserve to be treated justly. In addition, the uninvolved acceptance can instill in minorities a sense that there is no possibility to change their circumstances, and all of their efforts would be futile.

Works Cited

Hoplin, Claire. “Search and Seizures-Abandoned, Surrendered, or Disclaimed Items: The Unique Sensitivity of Cell Phones.” NDL Rev. vol. 96, no. 1, 2021, pp. 81–92.

Hunt, Whitney. “Negotiating New Racism: ‘It’s not Racist or Sexist. It’s Just the Way it is.” Media, Culture & Society, vol. 41, no. 1, 2019, pp. 86–103.

Raj, Matthew, and Russ Marshall. “Examining the Legitimacy of Police Powers to Search Portable Electronic Devices in Queensland.” University of Queensland Law Journal, vol. 38, no. 1, 2019, pp. 99–123.

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1. LawBirdie. "Police Searches and Technology." May 15, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/police-searches-and-technology/.


LawBirdie. "Police Searches and Technology." May 15, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/police-searches-and-technology/.