It seems that cell phones contain more and more personal information with each passing day and unfortunately, a lot of it might not be the type of information one would want to land in the lap of law enforcement (note: the impending laws concerning “sexting“). But if you have been under the impression that your cell phone and its contents are personal property and as such exempt from police search without a corresponding search warrant, it seems that California is leading the way to change such impressions. On January 3, 2011 the Supreme Court of California granted police officers in that state the right to search a suspect’s cell phone without a warrant. Prior to this ruling (and in accordance with the fourth amendment) police were only allowed to search suspects for disclosed weapons without a warrant. The court ruled that police have the right to examine items they seize, which can range from text messages to app history to websites that have been browsed. We can see how this information might be relevant, pertinent, and time sensitive in crime control imagine if the police have someone they suspect of predatory sexual child abuse and are able to intervene in the act by intercepting text messages. Another point is that valuable evidence in the course of prosecution can be/might be erased by the suspect between the time of the investigation and the actual issuance of a warrant. But then of course there are augments against the ruling citing the fact that a warrant must be issued to seize and search a computer, so why should a cell phone be different? So yes, the jury of public opinion might be undecided at this juncture, but the mere fact that the California Supreme Court has taken a definitive stance might be worth noting for those who have embarrassing (or worse) information stored in their cell phones. Technology marches forward, and so do the courts, it seems.