Immediate and non-stop connectivity. That’s the world in which we live and work. Friends, family and co-workers are in touch with us at the drop of a hat. Our phones are on and by our side and we constantly interact with friends, family, and colleagues through Facebook, Gmail, and the like. This digital world and technology revolution have sparked new legal concerns. For example, your cellphone – it isn’t so simple. It is really a mini-computer, camera, e-mail system, document repository, and yes, even a mobile phone. All this raises privacy issues, search and seizure problems, cloud access discovery problems and new arguments on which Massachusetts Courts must rule, including access to and use of text messages as evidence.
A recently adopted law that applies on the North Shore and throughout Massachusetts makes it illegal to text while driving. M.G.L. ch. 90, § 13B. Just what is a text? It is “a piece of digital communication that is designed or intended to be transmitted between a mobile electronic device and any other electronic device.” M.G.L. ch. 90, § 1.
Now, what does all that mean? Let’s look at an example: