London Police extracts smartphone data with new gizmo, privacy concerns arise

London Police extracts smartphone data with new gizmo, privacy concerns arise
The device that you see pictured below is called ACESO and is now in service at the Metropolitan Police in London. It may look a bit like a small PC with a bunch of ports and slots in front, but its use is a bit more controversial than it seems. That is because the apparatus is meant to extract personal data from a smartphone of any model and make: contacts, call logs, text mesasges, social networking data, photos, videos, you name it. And allegedly, it can do that in a matter of minutes. 

The idea behind ACESO is to allow officers to respond quicker when matters require them to, like the case was with last year's riots in downtown London. It is assumed that BlackBerry smartphones and BBM, in particular, were used by the protesters, and even though RIM allowed authorities to access user data stored on its servers, police could not do much in the field in order to obtain potential evidence from rioters' handsets.

Of course, the practice of obtaining personal information with the new contraption raises a number of privacy concerns. For example, it is not quite clear whether authorities can extract smartphone data without the need for the owner to be under arrest. And if that happens to be the case, the potential for misuse of the technology is present indeed. In addition, there are no details as to what happens with data that has been extracted. Is it deleted if the suspect is proven innocent, or is it being archived?

What do you, guys and girls, think? Is it okay for police officers to obtain smartphone data just like that if its for the common good, or is such practice in conflict with our privacy? Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below.



1. android_hitman unregistered

if you are not a crook then you don't have to worry about this ...

4. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

and if any government representative is not a crook than we don't have to worry about this.... but if there is? and be sure there are a lot of crooks who can abuse this ;) so don't lie that we don't have to worry about this...

10. 2fasst

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

How ignorant!

2. adi4u4882

Posts: 137; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

That will surely affect privacy of an individual. If that ACESO is capable of receiving Contacts and Messages then how can we be sure that it can't grab our Pictures and Videos? But its hard to believe that an device can do all that with mobile os's like iOS and Android.

5. BuckeyeCadet86

Posts: 78; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

It can get your pictures in videos, its in the article. Its not that hard to believe, the multitude of operating systems out there are really just Windows, BB, Android, BREW and iOS. For the most part it isn't that hard to access any of them older devices do it (Cellbrites) they just do it a little slower.

3. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

I dono why people gets so frantic and starts screaming about privacy when police starts monitoring phones/sms/calls/data... I don think that even police in pakistan will misuse or sell your personnel details they get to a third party(except in autocratic regimes). If you don have weight in your pocket, you don have to be worried while travelling right?:-|

9. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

The Pakistan police??? Do you have any worse examples???

6. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

At one point, government and its enforcing entities can have too much power. I think they should get a warrant to access personal info.

7. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

Next article, how to wipe flash memory!

8. brkshr

Posts: 9; Member since: May 22, 2012

This is exactly like going through your house without a warrant!!! You may have pictures, texts, emails etc. that are personal, embarrassing or confidential. Cops are people too, and they can be/have been corrupted. I don't have anything to hide on my phone, but if you let this go, what's next? Maybe all calls/text/data gets routed through government agencies first... (not that it doesn't with the NSA already, but on a local level would be scary)

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