Vice.com has a pretty informative article entitled “How to Avoid Self-Incrimination via Smartphone.” But it leaves out the best piece of advice.
The authors advise readers to (1) use passwords, (2) close your data-tracking apps, (3) keep your data in the cloud, and (4) leave your phone at home if you anticipate an arrest. All good advice, yet none of these are fool-proof.
According to this humble criminal defense attorney, yours truly, the best way to avoid incriminating yourself via smart phone is DON’T PUT INCRIMINATING INFORMATION ON YOUR PHONE!
Don’t text your buddies that you just committed a crime. Don’t take photos of your illegal activity. Don’t use your phone to facilitate criminal behavior. And if you want to keep your location secret, don’t carry a phone.
Whenever you write a text or an email, assume the government will eventually be able to read it (if they aren’t already reading it in real-time).
Even better yet, don’t commit the crime. While being innocent won’t guarantee that you won’t be put in prison (or even executed), it does help your chances.
The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case Riley v. California regarding cell phone searches. But don’t count on the Supreme Court justices to protect your constitutional rights. They rarely do.