How private is your cell phone information in Georgia? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How private is your cell phone information in Georgia?

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

How private is the information on your cell phone?

The Florida Supreme Court rules police can't search an arrested person's cell phone without a warrant.

But that is not the case in Georgia. Police here can look at any information on the phone of a person they're arresting.

Four Federal appeals courts have ruled that searching a cell phone of a suspect as he's being arrested is legal. But South Georgia investigators tell us it's just smart for cops to wait for a search warrant.

Every person we talked to Monday said they thought the state law was wrong, to allow police to search your cell phone while arresting you.

Chandler Blount said "I wasn't aware of that." Do you think that's right? "No. Because that's your personal information. That's privacy."

Bertha Prather said "No, that's not a good idea. That's invading privacy."

But in Georgia, while police are in the act of arresting you, can search your phone. But they must do it then.

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry said "At the time of the arrest, incident of that arrest, we can still search a person's cell phone. And then we have to be cautious as to how long that arrest is taking place, and when does the timeline stop to get a search warrant."

Attorney Ralph Scoccimaro says the idea goes back to 9-11, fighting terrorism in America, and protecting communities.

Scoccimaro said "In these cases the essence of the Patriot Act is that is state interest outweighs privacy interests of the individual."

Many South Georgians don't like that when it involves their cell phone.

Prather said "That's an invasion of privacy. That's just like putting a camera in your house. That's invasion. If the police can do that, what else can they do?"

But it is Georgia law.

Scoccimaro said "The cell phone that is seized in incident of arrest, if you are in your car, don't expect any privacy out of it."

Major Berry said their standard operating procedure is to not take any chances of depriving someone of their rights.

Berry said "So ours is, when in doubt, get a search warrant."

Something Georgians should be aware of.

Of course, that is a protection of your rights, that most law enforcement will go before a judge and explain cause why they should have a search warrant to search your cell phone.

Florida's Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 Thursday that a warrantless search of the contents of a cell phone is unconstitutional. Georgia's Supreme Court ruled in March 2012 that it is constitutional.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.