The Met, London's police force, is buying "mobile device data extraction" devices that can suck all the data out of your phone "in minutes" -- that's where you've been, who you know, what you've said to them, what websites you visit, and, depending on your apps, what groceries you buy, when you've called for a cab, what your menstrual cycle is, what you eat, your passwords, and so on.
This is the police force that routinely DNA-swabbed suspects and refused to destroy the samples even after they were exonerated, despite being ordered to after a European high court ruling to the effect that this was illegal.
Does anyone know what technology they're buying, and what its limits are? I'd be interested in knowing if, for example, it is effective against the built-in Android mass storage encryption.
"When a suspect is arrested and found with a mobile phone that we suspect may have been used in crime, traditionally we submit it to our digital forensic laboratory for analysis."
Kavanagh said the new system located within the boroughs themselves will enable "trained officers to examine devices and gives immediate access to the data in that handset".
He said: "Our ability to act on forensically-sound, time-critical information, from SMS to images contained on a device quickly gives us an advantage in combating crime, notably in terms of identifying people of interest quickly and progressing cases more efficiently."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.