Government Compiles Cell Phone Records of Victims


As part of the process of investigating cell phone thefts, the New York Police obtain the records of a stolen phone calls for four to fourteen days (usually). The administrative subpoenas almost invariably capture victim data, particularly if the victim has moved quickly to have his/her phone number ported. These records do not seem to be deleted, regardless of whether an arrest has been made.

I can’t think of what the government interest is in compiling a database of victim calls, nor should cell providers be turning over call records of individuals that are most certainly not involved in a crime. Administrative subpoenas have no checks and there is no disincentive to the collection of citizen data. It’s almost as if the victim is being punished for reporting the theft of his/her phone.

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