Court rules no privacy for cellphone with 1-2-3-4 passcode

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s highest court has upheld an 18-year prison sentence for burglary for a man convicted in part because he left his cellphone at the crime scene and a detective guessed his passcode as 1-2-3-4.

The state Supreme Court decision says 28-year-old Lamar Brown left his phone at a Charleston home after a December 2011 break-in.

Authorities say a detective kept the phone untouched for six days, then pulled it out and opened it by guessing 1-2-3-4. The detective found a contact named “grandma” and was able to work his way back to Brown.

Four justices agreed with the state that Brown abandoned his cellphone and had no expectation of privacy. One dissented and said the passcode and the unique data on a cellphone means police must have a warrant.

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