Photo: Dave Hosford/Flickr
When a phone is reported stolen to the New York Police Department, detectives routinely request phone records from the day of the theft onwards, in case the suspect uses the phone to make calls.The requests, generally made as subpoenas without the victim’s consent or knowledge, last anywhere from four days to two weeks, according to an NYPD officer who spoke with the New York Times.
Sprint requires the police to have the victim fill out a form first. Other carriers don’t.
The subpoena adds your phone number and numbers called from that phone to a database called the Enterprise Case Management System. The system allows detectives to cross-reference that number against phone numbers from other cases.
In the process, “the Police Department has quietly amassed a trove of telephone logs, all obtained without a court order, that could conceivably be used for any investigative purpose,” reports the New York Times.
Sometimes the NYPD could even monitor calls made from a new phone you use to replace the stolen one. The same subpoena can also include calls made to and from your new phone if the number has been transferred, detectives told the Times.
Detectives tell victims to hold off on transferring their number so they have a better chance of tracking calls made by thieves.
“If large amounts of victim phone records are being collected and added to a searchable database, it’s very troubling,” said Michael Sussmann, a lawyer who represents wireless carriers, interviewed by phone interview via the New York Times.
The NYPD wouldn’t comment on whether information obtained from call records had been used for other cases.
Don’t Miss: The Morality Of Making Guns On A 3D Printer >
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.