Should You Be Compelled To Give Up Your Smartphone Password?

This is a question that Canadians will now have to wrestle with as two things have happened to bring this issue to light. First was the fact that a man who had refused to serve up his smartphone password to Canadian Border officials was fined $500 after pleading guilty this week. The second is the fact that Canadian Chiefs Of Police want the Canadian Government to give them the right to compel smartphone owners to serve up their passwords as current laws on the books don’t give them that right.

Thus this question is a top of mind one. Now on one hand, I do not want anything getting in the way of law enforcement catching the bad guys. Thus I can understand why compelling smartphone users to hand over passwords makes sense. Having said that, I also think there have to be limits on this to stop anything that could be considered unreasonable search and seizure. For example, there would have to be judicial oversight to ensure that that doesn’t happen. Plus there are those who would argue that the privacy of the individual trumps all of this.

This is a complex issue and I’d be interested to hear what your thoughts are on this. Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts on this topic.


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