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Lynn K. Neuner and William T. Russell Jr.

The Court of Appeals issued a decision last month with important implications for the privacy concerns of individuals in pretrial detention. In People v. Diaz, the court held that as long as detainees are informed that their phone calls are being monitored and recorded, the government may use those recordings in the detainees’ criminal prosecutions without violating the detainees’ Fourth Amendment rights. A correctional facility therefore may monitor and record detainees’ calls and then share the recordings with a district attorney’s office to use in the detainees’ prosecutions. The case was decided over a vigorous dissent, which argued that, particularly in light of the way information is shared in modern society, a person’s consent that data may be used for a particular purpose or by a particular party cannot be taken as a complete waiver of that person’s privacy expectations in the data.

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