How far should the law follow digital footprints?

Judges struggle between investigative necessity & personal privacy

In Canada judges are struggling with old privacy laws not designed for modern-day scenarios and the pressure is growing more intense.

It was never easy for judges to delineate the murky line that separates investigative necessity from personal privacy, but in an era of smartphones, computers and instant messaging, the exercise is fraught with uncertainty.

Close to 60 billion text messages were sent in Canada last year – a figure that hints at the stunning trove of intimate information contained in devices like cellphones. Increasingly, the courts are relying on experts to help them weigh the merits of allowing or excluding electronic evidence.

One of those experts – Daniel Embury, head of an RCMP forensic-science unit in Ottawa – works in a small, cluttered lab where he and the five technicians under his command are deluged by a blizzard of devices to be disassembled and analyzed.

Read More of this article at The Globe & Mail >>