Despite opposition from sheriffs and prosecutors, a House subcommittee Wednesday approved a bill that would require law enforcement to get warrants before they could search cell phones and other types of electronic devices.
The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 12-1 to approve the measure (HB 797), sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo. A bill supporter, Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez said many people probably have more personal and sensitive information on their cell phones than they do at home.
But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri blasted the proposal, saying it could make it harder to catch criminals involved in child pornography and drug dealing. “What this bill does is protect criminals,” Gualtieri said.
The Florida Supreme Court is considering a case that stems from a police officer’s search of a cell phone.