'You'll need my fingerprint': are police allowed to search your phone?

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceResearch


[Extract] Consider the following scenarios:

A police officer stops you on the street and asks you to empty your pockets.

A police officer stops you in your car and asks to search you and the vehicle.

Regardless of nearly all factors, one of the items recovered will inevitably be a mobile phone. But in what circumstances can police search your phone? Must they obtain a search warrant? And what will happen if you refuse to provide your passcode or fingerprint required to access your phone?

A 2014 study found that of 1,519 people surveyed, 69% secured their smartphone with a password or passcode. Perhaps one of the reasons is because in just four swipes on the interface of your phone, another person can access a wealth of your personal information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2016


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