November 26, 2012

The NYPD is collecting, without court orders, incoming and outgoing call records of cell phone theft victims, and indefinitely retaining them in a massive searchable database called the Enterprise Case Management System.  When a cell phone is reported stolen the NYPD uses subpoenas to collect all calls to and from the phone, including calls made or received by the victim in the hours before the phone was stolen.  Sometimes the victims’ call information continues to be collected when they change the number to a new phone.  These subpoenas are often issued without the victim’s knowledge or consent, and the information collected is maintained in a searchable database.  The subpoenaed records rarely lead to arrests.

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