Home Data Protection Use of mobile phone extraction tools by law enforcement in Argentina

Use of mobile phone extraction tools by law enforcement in Argentina

by delta
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Our mobile phones contain all kinds of data, from photos, videos and emails to information about our health, places we have visited and leisure time. This data is often relied upon by law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations.

Mobile Phone Extraction (MPE) tools are used for this purpose as they allow police and other authorities to download content and related data from people’s phones. These tools are provided by private companies to security forces and prosecutors to extract and analyze information held on mobile phones.

Our partner, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), investigated the use of mobile phone extraction tools in Argentina and determined the reliance on these tools by the Buenos Autonomous Municipality’s police force, the Argentine National Gendarmerie (GNA). We published a report to investigate. Aires and the public prosecutor’s office.

The ADC report provides a set of recommendations to judicial, legislative and security forces regarding the regulation and use of mobile phone extraction tools within a framework that respects due process and privacy rights.

Key findings of the report include:

  1. Despite the widespread adoption and use of MPE tools in Argentina, specific guidance and legal safeguards regarding their use are lacking.
  2. More transparency is needed regarding how cell phone extraction tools work and are being used by Argentine police. Law enforcement’s reliance on trade secrets and national security is not a sufficient reason to avoid providing relevant information and may violate the privacy rights of individuals affected by the information extracted.
  3. National legal protections must be put in place to establish clear rules for the use of MPE tools. Specific laws regarding the use of MPE tools are required to ensure due process and the right to a fair trial when these tools are used in criminal proceedings.
  4. There is currently a lack of procedural standards for the operation of mobile phone extraction tools. As a result, parties to court proceedings may not be able to adequately control the evidence presented and be unable to contest erroneous or illegal manipulation during the extraction process.
  5. Additionally, there appears to be a lack of information and safeguards regarding how the extracted data is stored, how long it is stored, and with which companies/authorities it is shared.
  6. Law enforcement officials seem to lack the necessary understanding of the dangers of MPE tools and their implications for privacy rights. They seem unfamiliar with operating these techniques. As a result, it may not be possible to determine whether evidence collection was conducted in accordance with the rule of law. The right to train and inform judicial operators about the operation, risks, and contingencies of these forensic extraction tools so that the evidence they provide is duly evaluated and their use is subject to due process and a fair trial; with all warranties. for those concerned.

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