It seems to me that we all have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our phones. Our private conversations are there. Details about where we traveled, how long we spent in each place, who called us, who we texted--it is all in the phone.
But the police want to be able to take your phone from you and search it for any or no reason. They don't want to have to have a warrant to search your phone. You see, that makes their job more difficult, and they would prefer not to have to have to work hard when they do their job. They wold prefer it if your rights didn't get in the way of them harassing and haranguing you.
What is a warrant, for those who don't know? A warrant is something a judge issues after the judge has heard the facts that the police have been able to gather that bear on whether you may have committed a crime. In other words, the police can't act precipitously if they have to get a warrant. They need to go get approval from someone who is going to question whether they have a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed.
Wikipedia provides a helpful data point here: "[I]n authoritarian regimes, the police typically have the right to search property and people without having to provide justification, or without having to secure the permission of a court." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_warrant
In other words, in the US, if your phone can be searched without a warrant, then perhaps the answer is--we live in an authoritarian regime.
Congress is considering new legislation. Just last week Democrat Senator Leahy proposed allowing the authorities, including up to 22 federal agencies, to read your email without a warrant at all! The Democrat--a big privacy advocate, obviously.
We need to stand up for our rights and demand that Congress respect our privacy, and pass federal law accordingly. What say you Newsvine?