NYPD memo instructs officers to remove batteries to record IMEI for tracking purposes

NYPD memo instructs officers to remove batteries to record IMEI for tracking purposes
If you happen to get booked by the NYPD, you'll probably be taken back by the gentle kindness of police officers removing your phone's battery “to avoid leakage” while its on you. At first you'll probably feel a strange feeling of gratitude for the thoughtful gesture, but there is more to it than you surmise. According to the NY Daily News, an internal memo instructs police officers to actually remove batteries from mobile phones from those who are arrested and write down the IMEI. From there, it's inputted into a database which would enable law enforcement officials to track phones used by suspects in past, present, and future crimes. Now there are some red flags that come up with this kind of procedure – some argue that is circumvents warrant requirements and goes past the line when it comes to the right of a suspect. So if you don't want the NYPD to get their hands on your IMEI, it's best to stay away from trouble.

via Gizmodo



1. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

Why am I not surprise by this! As a NY resident I've watched as more and more intrusive measures have been thrust upon us in the name of security. If it isn't being searched before entering the subway it's being stopped because I circled the block 1 time to many, and thus appearing suspicious, while looking for a parking spot. I guess I'm gonna have to deface my IMEI to keep "The Man" from copying it the next time I'm stopped for a "Courtesy Inspection For My Safety" by "NY's Finest".

9. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

*#06# ... Punch that in the phone and it pulls up your IMEI. There's no getting away from it...

2. stuntz

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

good thing sprint doesn't use IMEI... :-P

3. ralph_denicia

Posts: 14; Member since: Apr 30, 2009

I can't tell if you're joking, LOL... But the memo probably meant to say: write the down the "serial number", but taught both GSM and CDMA phones used the same terminology for this(IMEI in this case). The funny things is that on a CDMA phone like from sprint: the Serial number(aka ESN)) is tied to the phone number for tracking purposes. But on a GSM phone like from AT&T: the serial number(aka SIM) is the number needed for tracking purposes and not the IMEI which is just the serial number of that particular phone model . Thus an IMEI tracking would prove useless if the user swaps the SIM card into another phone.

4. BigRed83

Posts: 144; Member since: May 19, 2008

For CDMA folks, it's easy, just get your phone swapped out. GSM? Now that you've given the boys in blue the tip, they'll write down the SIM. Nice going. LOL

7. majicc07

Posts: 28; Member since: May 07, 2009

Well if they write down your sim # just go in to your provider and have them swap out your sim card for a new one with a new sim number. You will have the same phone number but the sim ID number will be different. LIke Ralph said GSM phones can be swapped with many other sim's with other numbers so if you get busted and then let your bubby use your phone he now has the tracked device. CJ, you can black out your IMEI all you want all they have to do is hit a pattern of buttons on your phone and it will display your IMEI on the screen. The big question is will the cops know how to do that, Im sure after awhile they will figure it out. It is sad they have to come to these new security measures but if NYC gets hit again who do you think takes all the heat?

10. stuntz

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

completely joking, I know they'd just take down the ESN...

5. WKlingbeil

Posts: 215; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Whew, I'm happy that if I ever travel to that cesspool and get pulled over, I don't have to worry about my battery leaking on me... That's always been a phobia of mine, because that would just be devastating to happen... Nevermind the fact that batterys leaking is such a rare event, pa is right, it's a very nice gesture.

6. WKlingbeil

Posts: 215; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Oh, and that if is a big IF, I have no intentions on ever stepping foot in the crappiest city in America... Well, 2nd crappiest, I think Boston takes the cake for number 1.

12. theman10

Posts: 93; Member since: May 16, 2009

Actually, I'm pretty sure in your case the ghetto is always crappy. It doesn't matter what city you are in.

8. sniperace

Posts: 95; Member since: Aug 20, 2009

For those that think its that easy as switching a phone or a Sim card think again once cops have your phone they have all the info they need to track you down. Investigators will just go to your phone carrier and get all your current as well as past info,your new sim, your new phone. Jails are full out idiots that thought they were smarter than the moron that came before them. I just hope your smart enough to hold the soap with both hands!!

11. Quemical

Posts: 162; Member since: Jul 14, 2009

That was hyperbolic.

13. theman10

Posts: 93; Member since: May 16, 2009

Who cares if they have your stuff. Just don't be a piece of crap and you don't have to worry about it.

14. MTLance unregistered

ROFL what about iPhone troublemakers?

15. Vlondril

Posts: 91; Member since: Aug 22, 2009

well....they tend to get caught by iphone tracking...lol

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