In a pilot operation, Police Scotland used new technology to override passwords and encryption, and to download data held on a mobile phone without the owner’s knowledge. It is not known whether the phones belonged to suspects, victims or witnesses, but all were phones lawfully seized for a policing purpose. Most of the surveillance activity was for drugs-related investigations.
Privacy campaigners said there should be independent oversight of Police Scotland’s use of devices that access phone data (known as ‘kiosks’) and accused the force of undermining the fundamental principle of policing by consent. The Scottish Greens said police should obtain a warrant before accessing phones.
Image credit: Steven Straiton Flickr, CC by 2.0