Great Computer Search Decision from Canada

Hats off to the Canadian Supreme Court for a very important ruling.. On the 19th, the Court held in R v Cole, 2012 SCC 53 that an individual has a heightened privacy interest in their computers. They spoke to the personal information we store on our machines and then found that an individual who brings his computer in for repair maintains a privacy interest in the computer’s contents. The police may not “piggyback” on the limited release of the computer to the technician for service. Canadian Supreme Court rulings may be cited by U.S. Courts for their advisory value. Trans-Tec Asia v M/V Harmony Container, 518 F3d 1120 (CA 9 2008) (Canadian ruling is “instructive”). The ruling cites to many U.S. decisions and will therefore have stronger advisory value than most foreign rulings.