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  1. #1
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    Nov 2018
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    Default Can You Look Through Your Child's Phone After the Child's 18th Birthday

    Hi and thanks to anyone who takes time to look at this. This is more of a hypothetical that got me thinking from a government class I took once. they said police need warrants to search phones because of how much data we store on them. So I was curious to if my son were to turn 18, and I am paying for his phone I can legally take it away because it would be mine. but would I legally not be allowed to look through it because it was his data. I don't actually look through his stuff I give him privacy but I am curious to how this works legally. Because if someone signs into their bank account on my computer im not allowed to surf through it as much as I want.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    YOU are not the police or the state. If you are paying for the phone it is yours.

    If someone logs you into their bank account you can look at it as long and in as much depth as you desire.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2018
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    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    but he wouldn't have logged into the bank for me, I would just be looking at it, because fairly he can log onto a computer and wipe the phone if he chose to do so. also hypothetically then if I didn't know the password is he obligated to give it to me because its my phone? or because its his account he chooses who can use it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    425

    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    Quote Quoting zrlyness
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    but he wouldn't have logged into the bank for me, I would just be looking at it, because fairly he can log onto a computer and wipe the phone if he chose to do so. also hypothetically then if I didn't know the password is he obligated to give it to me because its my phone? or because its his account he chooses who can use it.
    A couple of thoughts: one, this has nothing to do with intellectual property. Since you're the curious type you can research the term to find out why. Two, I get the feeling that this isn't a hypothetical, and that your parent(s) pay for your phone so therefore want access. If I'm correct, why don't you tell us what's going on so you can get solid answers without all of the "what ifs".

  5. #5
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    If he hadn't have logged you into the bank website then you would have to break laws to access it.

    As said if the parent is paying for it it is the parent's phone.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    As said if the parent is paying for it it is the parent's phone.
    It might be the parent's phone. Paying for the phone and owning the phone are two different things. All the OP has said is that the parents pays for it. The phone might nevertheless be owned by the child. That distinction is indeed important to determining whether the parent may take the phone and what the parent can do with it. The parent certainly may stop paying for the phone if the parent wishes. But without knowing if the parent actually owns the phone (and it is quite possible that despite paying for the cell service the parent does not actually own the phone device itself, even if the cell service is in the parent's name).

  7. #7
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    This has nothing to do with intellectual property law.

    The reasoning you stated as to why the police need a warrant to search a phone isn't correct, so your attempt to analogize it to you searching your son's phone doesn't really make sense. And, in any event, the Fourth Amendment (which is where the requirement for warrants comes from) doesn't apply to private citizens.

    Whether your state's privacy laws have anything to say about the subject is impossible to determine because you didn't identify your state.

    General rule of thumb: If you don't own the device, don't do anything on that device that you wouldn't want the owner knowing about or seeing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,934

    Default Re: I'm Young and Curious and Have a Question About Some Intellectual Property

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    If he hadn't have logged you into the bank website then you would have to break laws to access it.

    As said if the parent is paying for it it is the parent's phone.
    Its the parent's phone, but its not the parent's bank account. Just because there is an app on the phone that allows access to the bank account that does not mean that the parent has the right to access it. The same applies to any other app on the phone.

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