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Stingray: A New Technology to Intrude your Privacy

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Published on : May 06, 2016

It seems that the legal between Apple Inc. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist involved in the Bernardino bombing has left its imprint on law enforcement departments across the U.S. Apple denied to unlock the encrypted iPhone of the terrorist citing privacy concerns. However, this has also raised questions about technology breakthroughs in criminal investigations. As a result, law enforcement departments are getting hold of advanced technological devices that can track phone locations by mimicking cell towers. Growing privacy concerns about these advanced devices have compelled legislation to restrict the usage of the technology by police in criminal investigations.

Illinois Outlines Regulations Regarding Usage of Stingray

Illinois is on its way to become one of the pioneer states setting down regulations regarding the usage of the cell-site simulators, termed as Stingrays. These simulators are capable to capture data from hundreds and thousands of cell phones in their vicinity. According to Senator Daniel Bliss, this technology is very powerful but not targeted. He is pushing to introduce legislation that demands law enforcement departments to get search warrants before using this device. Last month, the bill was cleared by Senate with unanimous support. 

The bill requires police to delete data pertaining to people who are not subjected to an investigation within three days. The bill further prohibits police from using data retrieved with the help of the device to investigate individuals who are not included in a search warrant. Interestingly, the Chicago Police Department has been sued to release records regarding the way it uses this novel technology. The department has not taken a position on the bill. Though the department has set guidelines for its agencies regarding issuing search warrants, deletion of data and search warrants during emergency have been excluded from the guidelines.