Cell Phone Cos. Give Data to Police - NBC Bay Area

Cell Phone Cos. Give Data to Police

Cell phone companies are giving law enforcement heaps of data.



    (Published Monday, July 9, 2012)

    Somebody's watching you -- and your text messages and your phone calls. And they're doing it like never before.

    Cell phone companies reported 1.3 million demands for customer information for law enforcement in 2011, according to reports in the New York Times.

    The revelation marks the first time these figures have been made available.

    Law enforcement is seeking texts, phone call locations, and other data from users' cell phones, according to reports. Some wireless carriers turn over data "thousand of times" a day, it was reported.

    Members of Congress marveled at the mounds of data turned over to police and other investigators. "I never expected it to be this massive," said Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts.

    Typically, wireless carriers require a court order in order to be compelled to turn over a customers' cell phone data. But increasingly, carriers will relinquish data more quickly if cops declare it an "emergency."