Legal Updates

A personal mobile phone is usually not considered a database that requires registration and may be publicly viewed

January 27, 2020

An Association demanded to publish the content of the personal phone of former head of the Bar Association, Adv. Effi Naveh, a suspect under criminal investigations.
The Court did not authorize publication of the content of the personal mobile phone. Information stored on a person's mobile phone does not count as a database and even if it is considered a database that is not registered in the Registrar of Databases, this does not mean that the public may have access to it. To determine whether information stored on a personal mobile phone is deemed a database, three conditions must be considered: the type of information, how the information is held and whether there are exceptions under law. Determining that any personal phone is a database requiring registration will result in an absurd result, so the default is that personal devices such as a mobile phone are not deemed a database. Here, the information was stored on the phone for personal purposes and without a repetitive system of collecting information about others and therefore it is not deemed a database. Either way, the law does not permit any individual to review any database. Instead, it states that when a database exists, a person may review the information that relates to such person. Here, although it is a public figure and even if it was required to register his personal telephone as a database, the Association is not entitled to review the information because it does not relate to it.