You might already be creeped out about what your phone knows. But as The Atlantic points out, iPhone tracking isn’t the half of it – there’s gear out there so powerful the ACLU demanded answers from the state of Michigan.
Cellbrite’s handheld forensic tools are made to dump the entirety of your phone – and ergo, a large, large part of your entire life – into the hands of cops (or anyone else with the gear). All of your text messages, emails, videos and photos – even the ones you deleted. But goes way beyond that. Google Maps queries – every address you’ve looked up and maybe ventured to – web searches, passwords, call logs. Your phone’s entire file system. All timestamped, all geotagged, all providing a digital recreation of the way your physical existence projects itself into the cellular ether.
The UFED Physical Pro isn’t just for Apple – it’ll quickly suck data out of over 3000 phones without the need for any intermediary computer. This data then provides whoever’s looking at it with a comprehensive look at you – where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, who you’ve spoken to, and when. Once the data’s extracted, it can be navigated on a computer as easily as you’d browse iPhoto. The potential for case-cracking evidence in the hands of police is immense – as immense as the potential for abusive breaches of privacy. Either way, the device (and others from competitors) is an incredibly powerful tool – and represents a digital frontier. And we’re still a long way from figuring out the ethics of it. [via The Atlantic]