Supreme Court Upholds Right to ‘Digital Privacy’

In a landmark ruling this week, the United States Supreme Court has taken a bold step to protect ‘digital privacy’ rights in the United States.  Here’s the story from the New York Times

In a sweeping victory for privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest.

While the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies.

“This is a bold opinion,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. You can’t apply the old rules anymore.”

With so much of our lives taking place through these small, electronic devices, it’s not surprising that the Justices issued a unanimous ruling on this.  In the 21st century, we already place far more value on intellectual capital than almost any other pursuit.  But the only way to protect this new economic engine is by strengthening our ‘digital privacy’ rights.  The Supreme Court has succeeded this week in protecting all Americans. Let’s hope for more common-sense conclusions on other issues.