Emily MacKinnon discusses a recent decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal concerning cellphone privacy. She writes, “Employers should take note of the former without counting on the latter:”
In R. v. Adeshina, the court allowed evidence of text messages that had been obtained from an indiscriminate “data dump” of a cell phone, even though those texts were obtained by way of a “very significant” breach of the accused’s Charter-protected interests.
The cell phone had been seized in connection with the accused’s arrest for drug trafficking. The text messages turned out to be the essential evidence connecting the accused to the crime. However, the search of the phone and review of the incriminating text messages did not occur until a month after the initial arrest.
The trial judge concluded that the search of the phone had violated Mr. Adeshina’s rights under s. 8 of the Charter but that the text messages were nonetheless admissible. The messages were then entered into evidence. Mr. Adeshina was ultimately convicted, and he appealed.
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