Michigan Cops Scan Your Cell Phone Data: ACLU
State police have device that extracts information from mobiles
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2011 1:16 PM CDT
Updated Apr 23, 2011 1:49 PM CDT
File photo of a traffic stop (not in Michigan).   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The ACLU is worried that Michigan state troopers are violating 4th Amendment rights by using a gizmo that quickly scans drivers' cell phones during routine traffic stops and extracts information, reports The Truth About Cars blog. The group accuses the state of dodging Freedom of Information requests on how often the procedure is used, noting that police said they would comply only if ACLU paid about $500,000 in processing fees.

Michigan troopers use a forensic device called the CelleBrite UFED, which is capable of collecting photos and video off a phone in 90 seconds. The company boasts it also grabs email, instant messages, GPS locations, call logs, contacts, etc., notes Popular Mechanics. Such devices are relatively common in police investigations, but the ACLU thinks a portable version used by troopers has the potential to violate unwitting drivers' rights against unreasonable search and seizure. "What happens next is unclear," writes Glenn Derene at PM. "If the ACLU presses the matter, it may well end up in the courts, but without a specific incident to pursue, there probably isn't yet a case." Click to read the ACLU letter.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
AstroDude
Apr 23, 2011 11:44 PM CDT
Don't be skeered friends - They can't do it wirelessly, so just don't give a cop your phone. Ever.
T.Jefferson
Apr 23, 2011 4:09 PM CDT
The American People (remember, "We, the People"?) are fundamentally and overwhealmingly sheep who have gotten the government they deserve. So, why are you complaining?
Major7
Apr 23, 2011 3:52 PM CDT
I'm astonished at the hyperventilating here. If the cops don't have a warrant, don't give them your phone. All right? Wait... Do you think they get it through the air waves? Did you bother to get informed before you commented? Or do these stories resonate so much with your fears that you just bypass fact checking?