Microsoft Highlights Poll Survey Results, 83% Of American Voters Think A Warrant Is Required For Searching A Cell Phone


16, 2014

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith recently blogged about his views on recent ruling regarding consumer privacy by the US supreme court. It was the case of Riley v. California in which court ruled that warrantless searches cannot be extended to mobile devices and government agencies should get a warrant to search a device of the accused. To know about how the public feels about these issues, Microsoft commissioned a survey. Microsoft revealed that full 83 percent of American voters believe police should get a warrant before searching personal information on someone’s cell phone.

The poll also found that:

· 75 percent agree with Chief Justice Roberts’ statement that “privacy comes at a cost” and there needs to be a balance between fighting crime and our Constitutional right to privacy; and

· 86 percent believe police should have to follow the same legal requirements for obtaining personal information stored in the cloud as they do for personal information stored on paper.

The Supreme Court’s decision, while a historic step, addresses just one of the many questions that the growth of technology is posing for our privacy laws. We’ve raised another unresolved question in a case in federal court in New York in which we’re challenging a search warrant seeking customer communications stored in our data center in Ireland.

We think it’s a problem for governments to use a warrant to reach across international borders and search a person’s email without respecting local privacy laws. And we are not alone. The same survey asked what Americans think about the questions raised in our case and found:

· 79 percent agree the federal government should have to respect local privacy laws when searching through people’s personal information like their email accounts;

· 56 percent are worried that if the U.S. government decides it can demand information in other countries without going through their governments, then other countries will follow suit and force companies to turn over Americans’ private information; and

· Only 13 percent believe that police in another country should be able to obtain the emails of a U.S. citizen stored in the U.S. without informing that citizen or the U.S. government.

If you’re interested in more information on the survey, you can find it here.

via: Microsoft blog

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