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    BBC News: Met Police to extract suspects’ mobile phone data

    BBC News reports on a new program by police in the UK to gather data from suspects mobile devices — and to possible keep data such as texts, call history and history even if the suspect is not charged:

    The Metropolitan Police has implemented a system to extract mobile phone data from suspects held in custody.

    The data includes call history, texts and contacts, and the BBC has learned that it will be retained regardless of whether any charges are brought.

    The technology is being used in 16 London boroughs, and could potentially be used by police across the UK.

    Campaign group Privacy International described the move as a “possible breach of human rights law”.

    Until now, officers had to send mobiles off for forensic examination in order to gather and store data, a process which took several weeks.

    Under the new system, content will be extracted using purpose built terminals in police stations. […]

    A Met Police spokesman told the BBC that when a suspect was released, “data received from the handsets is retained and handled in accordance with other data held by the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service]” – regardless of whether charges had been brought.

    Guidelines given to officers state that data extraction can happen only if there is sufficient suspicion the mobile phone was used for criminal activity.

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