Here’s Why You Should Know Your State’s Smartphone Laws

Learn how the law impacts phone use by researching your state’s smartphone regulations.

When you first bought your smartphone, you probably weren’t thinking about the law. While there’s a good chance you’ll have no trouble using your phone, it never hurts to brush up on relevant restrictions, so you know what’s allowed – and what’s not.

Person in car using a phone

A new technology

Both federal and state agencies across the country have developed laws concerning smartphones.

When a new technology becomes popular, the government creates rules concerning its use. Smartphones are no exception. Both federal and state agencies have developed numerous laws concerning smartphones. Lots of these rules apply to carriers, but many are worth knowing for the everyday user. We’ll discuss a few of these rules and how they’re applied in certain states.

Smartphones and driving

Distracted driving rules are a hot topic, because cell phones are often linked to car accidents. States determine smartphone laws on their own, and certain cities and communities set their own rules, too. Here are a few key examples:

  • California: California cell phone law says that handheld phone use is banned. All cell phone use is banned, including hands-free, if the driver is under 18.
  • Texas: Handheld phone use is prohibited in school zones. Drivers can’t send or receive messages. All cell phone use is banned for drivers under 18.
  • Florida: Drivers may operate cell phones as long as the sound is only provided through a single ear.
  • Oregon: Exceptions exist for parked vehicles, CDL license holders, drivers over 18, and more, but generally speaking, using a cell phone is banned while driving.

Smartphones and privacy

Privacy is another popular theme in the world of cell phone law. Privacy laws may discuss police access to your information, the protection of your own data, and much more. A few examples of privacy laws include:

  • Texas: According to Texas cell phone law, accessing a smartphone without the consent of its owner is illegal.
  • California: A 2014 court case decided that access to personal cell phone information requires a warrant.

In many states, the issue of phone privacy remains in dispute. Staying up to date on relevant privacy issues is a good way to know your rights and responsibilities.

Do your research

Many state and federal smartphone laws are still in development. Plus, those that already exist may change over time. Be sure to research your state’s laws if you’re interested in discovering which apply to you.

Once you're well-informed, it's time to enjoy the benefits of a new smartphone. Browse new phones, and sign up for Unbeatable Nationwide Coverage™ from Tracfone today to get started.