In a rare unanimous Supreme Court decision yesterday, all nine Justices agreed that, yep,searching your phone without a warrant is indeed illegal. So if a police officer ever does try to dig through your digital dirt unlawfully, this is what you need to do.
The often controversial Chief Justice John Roberts summed the whole thing up with a few delightfully biting lines in the court's decision:
The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what the police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple - get a warrant.
In other words, the law is on your side, and The Daily Dot put together a nice little primer on how to handle any unlawfully snooping cops. It all boils down to the following.
1. Keep your smartphone locked.
If they ask you to unlock it, you have every right to refuse. And this way, should you be stuck in handcuffs, they won't be able to pore through your phone even if they wanted to.