Posted by Michael Habib.
Many people today always hear about the search warrant and are police required to have probable cause to search a suspect’s cell phone. Recently, a case was heard in the Supreme Court regarding a robbery and police accessing information from the cell phone carriers that lead to Mr. Quartavious Davis’s arrest in Florida. Mr. Davis was convicted of a string of robberies in 2010 and was sentenced to approximately 162 years in prison, without parole. Mr. Davis challenged and argued that police did not access a search warrant when seeking information from his cellphone carrier MetroPCS Communications Inc. The information provided resulted and provided evidence of the approximate location of Mr. Davis during the time of the string of robberies.
According to Lawrence Hurley, in May, the “11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the failure of obtaining a warrant did not violate Davis’ right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” This lead Davis to seek Supreme Court review and the result was the same as the 11th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals.
The big question here that is constantly brought up by many people is how much privacy people and business have? Specifically, the four main cell phone carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, should they fight to keep their customers information private? According to Lawrence Hurley, this information is requested by law enforcement tens of thousands times per year. Many lower level courts have similar cases regarding business protecting the privacy of their customers and infringement of privacy.
A counter-argument can be for purpose where businesses and law enforcement may want to have the availability of this information to quickly solve cases such as Mr. Davis’s robberies. Business owners may support this for the purpose to protect their business from these robberies, however other business such as the cell phone carriers may argue that this is infringement of privacy towards their customers and hurts their business.
Michael is an accounting major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2017.