Supreme Court will hear case dealing with privacy rights for cellphones

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OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada will examine whether police can access information on a cellphone that isn't protected by a password.

The case deals with a 2009 Toronto armed robbery case in which Kevin Fearon was arrested and police found pictures of a gun and cash as well as a text message about jewelry on his phone.

After Fearon was convicted, he filed an appeal, arguing that police breached his rights when they examined the phone after his arrest.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that since the phone wasn't locked, police were OK to take a cursory look for evidence relevant to the crime, but should have stopped at that point to obtain a warrant.

Fearon also appealed over the issue of access to a lawyer, saying he was left in an interview room for five hours without an opportunity to contact counsel.

The Supreme Court, however, said the appeal will be limited to the cellphone issue.

Organizations: Supreme Court of Canada, Ontario Court

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Toronto

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