ACLU: Cops Stealing Drivers' Phone Data

jiminator

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I heard a dui lawyer on the radio talk about rights and what you should do and so forth.
I think you have to provide license and registration. after that if the police is asking for more
he suggests that you tell them you were expecting some sort of ticket and to be on your way,
otherwise you will need to consult with your lawyer. all in a nice and friendly tone.

the main issues you have is that police are trained to get people to deny things on camera and
then to reveal things they don't have to. If you tell a policeman he needs a warrant, you can plan
on him getting a warrant.
 

jojo69

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well, if you don't have anything to hide you don't have anything to be afraid of.../sarc

but seriously, people are going to resist this shit sooner or later
 

sfsuphysics

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I don't even have a cell phone (yeah one of the last of their kind under the age of 60 :p), and I'm pissed at all fuck about this.
 

adoru65535

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Cops would be fully aware of how illegal it would be to sell trade secrets. Your scenario just isn't realistic.

However, any kind of confidential information they extract then becomes at risk of being compromised if they do not handle it properly. Doctors with patient data, businessmen with trade secrets, et cetera all have a lot on the line if the police don't properly secure the data they take off those phones.
It's not the first time that the state/city got law suits and paid millions of dollar, and waht happened to the personnel/police officer(s) just got suspended with their salary kept in addition with the profit they made from such a action (might get fined and to return the profit, but the most part would have been money laundry already).
 

PR1975

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If they pull you over in your car for a violation like 'speeding', 'drunk driving', etc aren't they able to within reason search your car? I often find shows like Cops, they pull someone over, you can clearly see they are under the influence of something, search the car and ohh look 'cocaine in the glove compartment'.

In the course of that particular example, they've already identified you're impaired and have probable cause. Or in the case of contraband, they might pick up the odor of pot, giving them reasonable suspicion that it might still be present in the vehicle.

Isn't searching areas/things like bags inside your car not that different from searching your phone in a manner of speaking? If you think of a bag/glove compartment as a storage-medium similar to a phone/usb thumb drive/etc? One's virtual storage and the other actual storage. If someone had a list of all the numbers they'd recently called written down on a peice of paper in the glove compartment, would you consider it wrong for them to read it while searching a car?

To search inside the vehicle, they need your permission... which you can refuse, requiring them to obtain a warrant.

This one seems a bit ....odd. If they had cause for pulling you over and deem something arrest worthy, they have cause to search your vehicle and what's inside it including your phone. The people saying they'll sue for consitutional right violations blah blah blah.... good luck!

Ok.. Now you're dealing with probable cause (see my first response). They can't just ask for the phone and download data off of it without first obtaining your permission. The 4th Amendment protects against such abuses of power.

To an extent, this seems slightly useful data though. If an officer sees a teenager texting and pulls the teenager over for texting, it seems easily contestable in court. Teenager deleted the texts/phone call records during the time she was driving and says 'you can look at my phone' in court and subsequently the 'modified' phone shows no texts/phone calls. Granted, phone records could be subponea'd but that would take a lot of police resources/time/effort and possibly a 2nd court hearing.

The police have the burden of proof. Remember, the US court system maintains you are innocent until proven guilty. It's why cops have radar guns, to establish proof of speeding. Now, in the case of being observed texting, I would just take a copy of my bill to court to demonstrate I wasn't, but a reasonable judge would still use his best judgement in cases where it wasn't confirmed.

Would it be preferable just to have this situation, teenager pulled over for texting...
Teenager: "no, i wasn't texting officer!!!"
Office: "Can I see your phone? Gee, a text from 1 minute ago, 2 minutes ago, 4 minutes ago, 6 minutes ago. Oh and 12 minutes ago you started a 5 minute long phone call and have no hands-free device in your car."
Officer downloads copy of phone log/texts for use in court.
[/QUOTE]

OK... Still... 4th Amendment protect applies. Just politely refuse. He want's to see the phone, he needs a warrant.

The Founders gave you rights... why give them up? The "if I wasn't doing anything wrong, what do I have to worry about?" arguement is a poor one.

-P
 

raz-0

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i'm not a lawyer so I can't give you an exact answer, but watching COPS as a source of information is a bad, bad idea. Laws vary from county to county, and COPS makes no attempt at making the show educational, just sensational.

However I don't think cops can just search your car for no reason. They might be able to peek inside but they have no right to any of your other belongings like bags or glove box without a warrant supported by probable cause, or if you waive your rights.

You are ignoring one of the already established methods of violating privacy, which is "officer safety". Which in most places, allows the officer to search the area of the vehicle readily reachable by the driver for any item that might endanger the officer.

I still don't understand how this makes the cut, as I have never seen an officer search these places without securing the driver. If the driver is cuffed on the curb, I'm not sure how these areas are now reachable by them, or continue to be a potential threat to officer safety as the driver has been secured.


Cops would be fully aware of how illegal it would be to sell trade secrets. Your scenario just isn't realistic.

Cops also know steroids are illegal, weed is illegal, banging underage girls is illegal, shaking down supermarkets for free stuff is illegal, taking bribes to let drug dealers go is illegal, selling drugs is illegal, taking free stuff offered by individuals because they are cops is illegal, using their access to look up information about people outside the scope of their job is illegal, lying under oath in court is illegal, etc. However, every one of those things has been done by police local to me. Most are problems nationwide. Oh, and if we include New Orleans police, hiring out police as a death squad is also illegal, but something that has been done there. So.... police breaking the law... so unrealistic.
 

rihno13

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I don't know how else that you prove that the party in question was texting and driving.
But I do know that texting and driving has got to stop! Can't tell you how many idiots I almost get killed by every day who are swerving all over the road while texting.
 

Decibel

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What the hell is up with state GOP governors making sensationalist changes to laws? Wisconsin for the union thing, Maine for wanting to amend the child labor law, and now Michigan for 4th amendment violation. Are they that desperate for attention?

It's not just the GOP. The Democrats are just as malicious in regards to your wallet and rights.

We all really need to pick a third party.

It's why cops have radar guns, to establish proof of speeding.

In most jurisdictions the police officer him/herself is considered to be well trained and just them saying that they saw you exceeding the speed limit is enough for the ticket to stand up in court.

* * *

And yes, if I get pulled over, I have every intention of handing the officer my license and registration and to EVERY question he asks say "Thank you officer, but no thank you." If I'm there for more than five minutes that becomes, "Am I being detained?"
 

eon

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keep your phone out of view, say you dont have one with you. Problem solved. If there's not a dead body in your backseat or your car doesnt smell like weed, they cant search you.
 

jojo69

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They can't just ask for the phone and download data off of it without first obtaining your permission. The 4th Amendment protects against such abuses of power.


Ha Ha..oh man, that is rich...rofl

What, you think you live in a constitutional republic or something?

Jesus, look around you man.
 

topslop1

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People are under the assumption that saying no, getting arrested, dealing with ALL the bullshit you'll have to deal with from that instant of saying "no" onward, for days, weeks, months, however long, potential legal issues, potential loss of income from missing work, potential loss of finances due to potentially losing a job (even if you've done absolutely nothing wrong - some folks have jobs that simply do not allow them to be arrested as a condition of that employment), oh lord I could go on all day.

Or you can say "Whatever" and give up the phone and then sue the fuck out of them after the fact without you actually being arrested. One would think that's a far more efficient solution.

Right? :p

The problem here is that they then still get your information... I'd rather be stubborn and poor (for loss of job time etc) than violated and wealthy.
 

PR1975

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Ha Ha..oh man, that is rich...rofl

What, you think you live in a constitutional republic or something?

Jesus, look around you man.


It's such a lack of enforcing your rights that allows them to slip away.

-P
 

jojo69

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It's such a lack of enforcing your rights that allows them to slip away.

-P

I broke myself on that rock man.

Let it implode under its own farcical weight, rebuild something honest and true in the rubble. The time for your idealism was ten years ago, and there were old guys then telling me I was 20 years too late.
 

PopeKevinI

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Because the police have NEVER been corrupt and done illegal things. :D

Individual officers, yet. Departments, not so much. For the most part, cops are decent guys trying to do the right thing. 1 out of 10 of them might be power-tripping abusers, but even those guys mostly know better than to try to sell stolen trade secrets to a company's competitors. I'm not in any business where trade secrets exist and I know that there's a good chance of being turned in if you approached a large company with their competitors' trade secrets. It's rarely ever worth the risk for them to enter into a deal like that...even if you take ethics out of the equation, the potential profit doesn't justify the potential fines, jail time, and stock price dip if they are caught out.
 

TheWeazmeister

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This is why we need the ACLU, there is never any gray area when it comes to privacy, no matter how extreme or unpopular the cases they take on.

Bingo! The fact of the matter is when they defend some of the loonies that they do, they draw the ire of the far-right but there is a reason for it. The old saying about "first they came for the ... " applies. Every time we give up our rights for whatever b*llsh*t reason the politicians come up with we are heading down this slippery road.
 

Uncle

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Hey Google set the precedent if they can drive around collecting WIFI info:eek, I guess the cops can get phone info.:rolleyes:
 

bucket

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Wow.

I wonder if they want to test my urine as well? I'll gladly give them a fresh 'sample' right in their fascist pig faces the first time they ask for my papers - I mean cell phone. Pure insanity.

The sound you hear is your civil liberties and the Constitution going up in flames...
 

Uncle

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Wow.

I wonder if they want to test my urine as well? I'll gladly give them a fresh 'sample' right in their fascist pig faces the first time they ask for my papers - I mean cell phone. Pure insanity.

The sound you hear is your civil liberties and the Constitution going up in flames...

I agree what Constitution, no one I see or hear is standing up for it.:mad:
 

SigEpBlue

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As a Michigander with VERY little trust in his state government -- my memories of Granholm and her bullshit promises are quite vivid -- and law enforcement in general, I almost hope to be pulled over and have my Incredible scanned. I wouldn't mind being the first case in this issue for the ACLU to take up. Then again, the other evil voice in my head would want me to snap the phone in half before they got the chance.

Welcome to Michigan, where the new "no texting" law has all sorts of interesting side effects that all of us with brains foresaw.

Yup, I no longer have 17-year-old girls crossing the median to hit me head-on, because they were texting their friends while driving. Whodathunkit?!?

Oh, and by the way, if the governor wants, he can take over your town, fire all of it's elected officials, and replace them with an "emergency government" appointed by him. And this person is NEVER a crony, no siree Bob. (Already happened to one city, I shit you not)

You speak as if that's a bad thing. Do you not remember Kwame Kilpatrick? Or how some of the old poorly-run manufacturing towns (Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, Detroit, take your pick of east-side towns) have fallen into disrepair due to corrupt and/or apathetic government?
 

SigEpBlue

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Oh, and God protect me, I'm driving into Ohio this afternoon, a state with a Stop-and-Identify statute. :(
 
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As a Michigander with VERY little trust in his state government -- my memories of Granholm and her bullshit promises are quite vivid -- and law enforcement in general, I almost hope to be pulled over and have my Incredible scanned. I wouldn't mind being the first case in this issue for the ACLU to take up. Then again, the other evil voice in my head would want me to snap the phone in half before they got the chance.



Yup, I no longer have 17-year-old girls crossing the median to hit me head-on, because they were texting their friends while driving. Whodathunkit?!?

Now now, you and I both know we still have those 17 year olds crossing the median. Only now, in addition to getting a ticket for causing an accident, they get a ticket for texting while driving and causing an accident. And the cops have a bigger "probable cause" reason for pulling anyone they damn well please over.



You speak as if that's a bad thing. Do you not remember Kwame Kilpatrick? Or how some of the old poorly-run manufacturing towns (Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, Detroit, take your pick of east-side towns) have fallen into disrepair due to corrupt and/or apathetic government?

Kwame Kilpatrick not withstanding, removing the free and fairly elected government of a town and replacing them with your crony's is not 'democracy', nor even a 'representative republic'. That's a lot closer to a dictatorship then the U.S. is supposed to have.
 

Tzzird

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I don't see this holding up in the Supreme Court.

But then again, the Supreme Court has made some bonehead decisions before.
 

HalOfBorg

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At last my damn TracFone with it's disabled USB port (except for charging) might be a GOOD thing!!

I say MIGHT because maybe it would work for the cops.
 

dr.stevil

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there is no way in hell that I'd EVER give an officer my cell phone so they could copy data from it. Not only do I have personal data on it, but also confidential business related documents/emails/etc. I'm surprised that they don't ask for a piece of your hair to do a toxicology screening while they're at it. Unbelievable

I would love to see an ios or android app that was able to circumvent this. :D
 
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Thing is, the way the "No Texting" law is written, you refuse, and you've just given the cop probable cause. At which point he takes your phone anyways, and if you refuse, you get arrested, in addition to a much larger ticket. After all "He thought he saw you texting". . .
 

dr.stevil

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Thing is, the way the "No Texting" law is written, you refuse, and you've just given the cop probable cause. At which point he takes your phone anyways, and if you refuse, you get arrested, in addition to a much larger ticket. After all "He thought he saw you texting". . .

possibly. I'm not sure how the laws are actually written (and I'm sure it's different from state to state), but I would like to hear from a lawyer or police officer about this.

I mean, can't they just give you the ticket, then subpoena the information from the cell phone company to proove that you did or didn't text or make a call? That seems to be the proper, legal, way to go about obtaining that information.
 
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If they pull you over in your car for a violation like 'speeding', 'drunk driving', etc aren't they able to within reason search your car? I often find shows like Cops, they pull someone over, you can clearly see they are under the influence of something, search the car and ohh look 'cocaine in the glove compartment'.

Isn't searching areas/things like bags inside your car not that different from searching your phone in a manner o....

Everything you've said they need from the phone could be verified with the records from the service provided with a valid judicially verified warrant. No reason to need the phone.
 

jojo69

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Wow.

I wonder if they want to test my urine as well? I'll gladly give them a fresh 'sample' right in their fascist pig faces the first time they ask for my papers - I mean cell phone. Pure insanity.

The sound you hear is your civil liberties and the Constitution going up in flames...

The term fascist is obsolete.

The new usage is "farscist" a cojoining of farce and fascist.
 

PopeKevinI

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Hey Google set the precedent if they can drive around collecting WIFI info:eek, I guess the cops can get phone info.:rolleyes:

Ever heard of wardriving? Google collected information that was being broadcast and accessible from the road. Cops can park on the road and watch what you do all day long and not violate any rights.
 

Gnasher

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I think in Canada the police require probable cause to carry out a search of your vehicle, a traffic violation is not probably cause. Doesn't the USA have a similar law? Of course they can make up BS to carry out the search if they really want anyway.
 

Azhar

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I think in Canada the police require probable cause to carry out a search of your vehicle, a traffic violation is not probably cause. Doesn't the USA have a similar law? Of course they can make up BS to carry out the search if they really want anyway.

AFAIK US laws only allow police officers to search your car within their immediate reach and sight, such as looking in the back seat or front seat, but they cannot go out of the way to find something that's not visible. They can ask you to open your trunk but you can tell them no. Might not get you very far though.
 

Uncle

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I think in Canada the police require probable cause to carry out a search of your vehicle, a traffic violation is not probably cause. Doesn't the USA have a similar law? Of course they can make up BS to carry out the search if they really want anyway.
I checked this out thirty years ago, when I talked to a RCMP, after they were emptying a trunk full of liqueur during a long weekend, about probable cause for a search in BC . The one act that they can use to search anytime any where is the Firearms act . Most of the laws giving the RCMP the rights you think they don't have start off with: If a Constable believes ( fill in the blank) may be used to commit a crime leaves it wide open for them. So the Firearm act opens the door and if he happens to find something else your shit out of luck. Next time the RCMP set up a road block ask them what gives them the right to stop you going from point A to point B.
 

PopeKevinI

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What I find most alarming about this idea is that alongside these headlines, others are talking about how smartphones are going to be the new wallet, storing credit card numbers and financial data so you can simply swipe your phone to pay for things. There will be some major liability issues when the cops let a massive database of account numbers be compromised due to poor security.
 

Uncle

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What I find most alarming about this idea is that alongside these headlines, others are talking about how smartphones are going to be the new wallet, storing credit card numbers and financial data so you can simply swipe your phone to pay for things. There will be some major liability issues when the cops let a massive database of account numbers be compromised due to poor security.

^this^
 

TechSys

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This is wrong in so many ways, but. Since they only ask for cellphone, why not take the memory card or sim card or whatever out, then hand the phone over? I have everything on an SD card (android). If I remove the card my phone is useless until I put it back in (and it syncs back up with google and facebook). I don't know, maybe that won't work either.

Somebody mentioned wiping the phone. I've also got lookout installed on the phone. Hopefully I'll never have to use it for that purpose.
 

Mini-Me

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This is wrong in so many ways, but. Since they only ask for cellphone, why not take the memory card or sim card or whatever out, then hand the phone over? I have everything on an SD card (android). If I remove the card my phone is useless until I put it back in (and it syncs back up with google and facebook). I don't know, maybe that won't work either.

Somebody mentioned wiping the phone. I've also got lookout installed on the phone. Hopefully I'll never have to use it for that purpose.

Only a secure delete (i.e. delete and random overwrite) will stop these scanners. According to the article linked at http://content.usatoday.com/topics/...partment+of+Homeland+Security/06X5dZs7f14ut/1 :
"Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags," a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device's capabilities. "The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps."

This is an extremely dangerous precedent. For all those talking about, "Well, if you're texting and driving, blah blah, illegal, blah blah," remember how the law is used in the real world: Whether or not anyone's actually doing it, "texting and driving" is now the pretext cops will use whenever they feel like searching your phone, for any reason. Feel safe yet?
 

Methadras

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Makes me glad I lost the cover off my Droid. I could pop the battery out in my pocket before handing over the phone. Good luck getting data off it then.

The only time there is just cause in searching the contents of a driver's phone is when you are accusing them of using it where it wasn't legal.

Unless the device itself is able to power your phone regardless of whether it has a battery or not. That is certainly possible.
 

86 5.0L

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guess im screwed with the iPhones' non-removable batt, lol.
 
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