Who searches your phone?
Photos, videos, calendars, contacts, locations visited, records of incoming and outgoing calls, messages sent, received and deleted, bank statements, e-mails, personal notes, and applications of all kinds are just some of the information that can be tracked on a cell phone.
In certain cases, this data can be used to find a criminal, determine the whereabouts of a suspect or hear someone’s conversations just before committing a crime. Even more serious is the fact that our mobile contains not only an enormous amount of our private information but also that of third parties, such as friends, family, or co-workers. Thus, cell phones have become our most intimate space, while being a valuable piece of evidence for judicial investigations.
This requirement to obtain data stored on mobile devices and the technical difficulties that come about as a result gave rise to a growing industry specialized in developing and selling software that supplies courts with the tools to seize and analyze such information efficiently.
This report is an initial approach to the technologies being employed in Argentina for the different types of mobile data extraction and the companies behind them. To this end, first, we will explain the nature of these systems. Then, the judicial staff who use them and the main suppliers. Finally, we will present some of the challenges faced by the collection and analysis of digital evidence from cell phones and a number of considerations that should be taken into account for establishing a set of norms that do not violate individual rights.