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  • Writer's pictureJames Mosieur

New California Law Helps Protect Personal Information on Smartphones

California now requires police to get a warrant before they can search messages, email, photos and other data on a smartphone. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (calECPA) into law on October 15th. Advocates say the new law highlights the need for similar protections at the national level.​

Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties policy director at the ACLU of California, said she hopes the California law becomes "a model for the rest of the nation in protecting our digital privacy rights."

In similar news, according to the American Bar Association’s 2015 Legal Technology Survey released this week, a lost smartphone is considered a data breach.​ Bloomberg BNA reports that the survey defines breaches as "everything from a lost or stolen smartphone to a break-in or website exploitation."

Since the State of California and the ABA formally recognize that the data stored on a smartphone is personal and sensitive it won't be long before other states and influential organizations follow suit.

What does this mean for lost and found departments and property and evidence rooms? No one can say for sure, but ensuring proper disposal of unclaimed electronic devices now prepares your agency for the future.

Does you disposal process securely dispose of these types of devices? A recent post on this blog can help you assess your current disposal strategy.

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