Other courts have held to different standards concerning that expectation of privacy. A court in Washington, the Times reported, ruled that text communications are like telephone voice mail messages that can be overheard by anyone in a room and are not protected by state privacy laws. A federal appeals court in Louisiana is considering whether location records stored in smart phones are covered by a personal right to privacy or are "business records" belonging to the phone companies.
"The courts are all over the place," Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer with the San Francisco-based civil liberties group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Times. "They can't even agree if there's a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages that would trigger Fourth Amendment protection."