A Cellphone Too Far…

Cops Love iPhone Data Trail

Detective Josh Fazio of the Will County Sheriff’s Department loves it when an iPhone turns up as evidence in a criminal case.

The sophisticated cell phone and mobile computer is becoming as popular with police as it is with consumers because it can provide investigators with so much information that can help in solving crimes.

“When someone tells me they have an iPhone in a case, I say, ‘Yeah!’ I can do tons with an iPhone,” said Fazio, who works in the sheriff’s department high-tech crimes unit.

The iPhones generally store more data than other high-end phones — and investigators such as Fazio frequently can tap in to that information for evidence.

And while some phone users routinely delete information from their devices, that step is seldom as final as it seems.

“When you hit the delete button, it’s never really deleted,” Fazio said.

H/T to Unc.

ETA: Y’know, I was just thinking about this the other day. When I was young, this was a telephone:Yeah, the handset made a dandy blunt instrument – and was frequently in the news as such. Now I’ve got a flippy little box that looks like Captain Kirk’s communicator, and though it often annoys me it’s really pretty cool that I can be out in a shitfield a mile from anything and still in touch with my friends – if I ever remembered to put the damned thing in my pocket.
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Security on the old phones really sucked – the phone company knew everything about you, made no secret of it, and cheerfully gave the information to the cops on demand. In addition to being incredibly easy to tap, well into the early seventies Ma Bell acted like connecting four wires was akin to particle physics and forbade you to connect an extension yourself. And the phones were wired so that they could tell everything about your new phone but the color. A phone guy once demonstrated this to my very embarrassed older brother, in my amused presence.

So while we love to hate the new surveillance culture, in a lot of ways nothing has really changed. I don’t assume that even my cheapy pay-as-you-go phone gives me any real anonymity, since no matter what surveillance gear my phone may or may not carry it’s still plugged into the cellular network. Never conduct sensitive business over any phone.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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