Technology has the power to make our lives much more convenient in a number of different ways, but it can also raise serious privacy concerns. Mississippi’s new “digital driver’s licenses” have been met with praise by some, while others are claiming that it could allow police to violate digital privacy to a greater extent than ever before. Are these concerns valid? How does this new system work? What do you need to be aware of as we enter this new digital era for driver’s licenses in Mississippi?
If you have been stopped in Mississippi by a police officer for any crime, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Police officers must follow strict laws when searching your personal property, and as you will see, these laws also apply to your phone. If you believe that your charges were the result of an illegal search, a criminal defense attorney can help you pursue a positive legal outcome and avoid charges.
The Mississippi Mobile ID
On November 21st, it was reported that residents of the Magnolia State had been given the chance to store their driver’s license on a digital app called Mississippi Mobile ID. The concept is quite simple. You put your driver’s license on your phone, and this makes it easier to show your valid identification to officers instead of digging through your wallet or your dashboard. This system has been billed as a “contactless method for verifying identity,” and many other states across the nation have adopted a similar system.
Concerns Have Been Raised
Of course, this system might not be entirely “contactless,” as you may have to physically hand over your phone to an officer, who can verify the information on your digital driver’s license. If you have ever been stopped by the police before, you know they have a habit of walking away with your physical driver’s license in order to copy all the information into their squad car computer. There is no real guarantee that they will not do the same with your phone.
This raises a whole new set of concerns, as you will essentially be handing over your unlocked mobile device to the authorities. This device may hold all kinds of personal information that can be used against you. If there is incriminating evidence on your phone, what exactly is stopping the police from searching your phone and finding this information?
Police Still Need a Warrant to Search Your Phone
Despite all of this, police in Mississippi still need a warrant to search your phone. This means that when you hand over your phone, any evidence they may find will be inadmissible in court, unless you have consented to a search. At the end of the day, your digital information will not be used against you without a warrant. At least, this is true in theory. If you are concerned about this situation, it might be better to stick to a physical driver’s license.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have any further questions about this subject, do not hesitate to get in touch with Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. The new digital era raises all kinds of important questions about digital privacy, and you have the right to push back against illegal searches. With help from Vic Carmody, you can fight for your rights in an effective manner. Book your consultation today, and we can immediately get started on a defense strategy.