The court justified the relatively severe punishment in that the “loss of a cell phone, let alone theft of a cell phone, can cause the victim stress and dismay”, because, among other things, “most cell phones sold today are ‘smartphones’ that also serve as a gateway to a wide array of digital assets – email account, Facebook and other social network accounts, apps that provide access to the person’s bank account, and the like. The mere thought that cell phone theft can facilitate extortion or lead to distribution of sensitive personal information, is sufficient to exacerbate the victim’s anxiety and feeling of loss of control”. The court also pointed out the “national outbreak of cell phone theft from the hands of innocent people.” Source: TheMarker (in Hebrew, by Efrat Neuman).
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“A smartphone is akin to a mobile vault containing photos, at times sensitive photos, personal correspondence and data, some of which is confidential”, according to a recent Israeli Supreme Court criminal appeal judgment that sentenced a thief convicted of robbing cellphones from teenagers to three years in prison.