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

January 27, 2020
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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.