Will police officers get to use the "Textalyzer" in CA?

Technological innovations have made it easier to figure out everything from where to get dinner to the best investment options for retirement funds. One controversial area that is currently under development involves the production of a product referred to as the "Textalyzer" device.

What is the "Textalyzer" device? This device is currently present as a prototype by its developer, Cellebrite. Production is on hold until approval.

The manufacturers explain that the Textalyzer is a device that can connect to a cellphone. Once connected, it can determine whether or not the phone was in use. This could provide valuable evidence in the event of an accident.

The makers of the device note that the Textalyzer will not provide any actual content. Instead, it will simply confirm or deny the use of the phone.

What are the arguments in favor and against the use of this device? Those in favor the device point to the many accidents that are caused due to distractions from cellphone use. The device would provide a means to hold those who violate distracted driving laws accountable for their actions.

Those opposed to the device point to privacy protections. They state that the information should only be available if the officers get a warrant.

Will the device be used in California? There is not currently a law in California that allows for use of this device. However, the state could consider legislation in the near future that would change this. Legal challenges to the invasion of privacy are likely in the event officers begin using these devices.

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