April 21, 2011 weblog
Your cell phone may be used against you in a court of law
(PhysOrg.com) -- We tend to think of our cell phones as our own person technological domains. They are the places where we can store our digital life and keep an eye on the things that we need to, while we are on the go. But, what if your data is not you own, what if it is used against you in a court of law?
Those are the allegations made by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Michigan State Police. They claim that they have been using technology to clone your cell phone data and use it against drivers for issues as trivial as a traffic stop. That data could include your photos, videos, e-mails, and GPS locations.
The Michigan State Police have been accused of taking cell phones from people at traffic stops and cloning those phones. The devices used, called the CelleBrite UFED, were initially designed for forensic use, and now they may be being used in the field by patrol officers. These devices are capable of cloning the data that is stored on more than 3000 different models of cell phones. Security protections, including pins are not stopped by this device. It is even capable of accessing data that have been deleted on the phone, data that is no longer available to the phones owner.
Requests by the ACLU to see log data from the Michigan State Police was met for a demand for half a million dollars to pay for the costs of retrieving the information. The ACLU replied to that request with a public letter that made reference to the constitutional rights of citizens and the possibility of litigation Currently, no other steps have been taken.
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