Tag Archives: iphone-police

Why Do Law Enforcement Officials LOVE the iPhone?

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Did you know just how MUCH information the iPhone stores on you? Police do, and they LOVE the iPhone for making it easier to track down criminals. The Chicago Sun Times discussed exactly what the iPhone stores without your knowledge, and we discuss this in today’s video. Lamarr didn’t know that quite this much information was captured and stored without your knowledge – did you?

Detective Josh Fazio works in the Will County (Illinois) sheriff’s department high-tech crimes unit. He adores it when someone tells him there’s an iPhone as evidence in a case. He and his coworkers can often tap into the information you thought you deleted from your iPhone. The devices can help police learn where you’ve been, what you were doing there and whether you’ve got something to hide. What, exactly, can police find even if you’ve deleted information?

  • Every time an iPhone user closes out of the built-in mapping application, the phone snaps a screenshot and stores it. Savvy law-enforcement agents armed with search warrants can use those snapshots to see if a suspect is lying about whereabouts during a crime.
  • iPhone photos are embedded with GEO tags and identifying information, meaning that photos posted online might not only include GPS coordinates of where the picture was taken, but also the serial number of the phone that took it.
  • Even more information is stored by the applications themselves, including the user’s browser history. That data is meant in part to direct custom-tailored advertisements to the user, but experts said some of it could be useful to police.
  • The keyboard cache logs everything that you type in to learn autocorrect so that it can correct a user’s typing mistakes. Apple doesn’t store that cache very securely, according to former hacker Jonathan Zdziarski (who is now the author of iPhone Forensics for law enforcement officers). He contends that someone with know-how could recover months of typing in the order in which it was typed, even if the e-mail or text it was part of has long since been deleted.

Yes – you read that right. Experts can end up piecing together every single word you have typed on your phone – in chronological order. If the information isn’t stored securely as Zdziarski claims, god only knows what would happen if the wrong type of expert were to get ahold of that information.

I’m willing to bet you didn’t already know this. How do you feel about it now that you do?

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