TORONTO – The highest court of Ontario has to establish that the police of the province have the right to search the cellphone of the accused provided that it is not protected by a password.
In a ruling Wednesday, the Court of appeal for Ontario ruled that agents can look ‘ a quick ‘ on the information contained in the device, but that they should require a warrant when it is locked.
This decision follows an appeal by a man arrested as part of a flight and who argued that the police had violated the Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms by examining his phone after his arrest.
Kevin Fearon was arrested in July 2009 after a jewelry stand was robbed in a Toronto flea market. The police found in his phone’s images of cash and a firearm, as well as a text message refers to jewelry.
The Court of Appeal rejected his argument, pointing out that the police had the right to quickly search his phone to see if it contained evidence relating to the crime, but that they should stop after the fact to get a search warrant.
She said that if the phone had been protected by a password or that it had been locked so nobody else that its owner can access its contents, “it would not have been appropriate” to go further without a warrant.
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