In March of this year the Federal Bureau of Investigation filed a warrant in order to unlock a cell phone that belonged to a supposed pimp. Google refused to unlock the device because they did not believe the warrant covered passwords and encrypted data. This is not the first time Google has fought a warrant or subpoena because they did not agree with the terms presented in the document. The Stored Communications Act enhances the privacy for digital communication such as email, which created a small window of opportunity for Google to deny the warrant.
Although this was passable today, it is still too soon to tell what effects this could have on legislation and technology privacy in the future. It is unknown how many requests Google (or others for that matter) receives for password information, so it is impossible to know how pressing of a matter this is at the current time. This legal battle has not yet ended, but it will undoubtedly unlock questions about the government’s right to potentially case-breaking information vs. a citizen’s right to privacy. We can expect to see more on this topic in upcoming months.