Police are extracting vast amounts of information from the mobile phones of victims, witnesses and suspects without justification, a report warned today.
Forces are keeping large volumes of data, including intimate details of the private lives of device owners as well as their family, friends and colleagues, presenting “considerable risks to privacy”.
Often the messages, photographs, emails and social media information are insecure because police do not encrypt the downloaded information, while officers have a limited understanding of the relevant laws, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) warned.
Victims groups and privacy campaigners have raised concerns that the practice will stop victims coming forward, particularly those making rape and sexual assault complaints.
A more gung-ho approach to phone extraction was adopted in 2017 when it