Do Cellphones Provide Complete Data Privacy?

Enterprise Security Magazine Europe | Wednesday, July 22, 2020

According to the experts’ technological and lagging privacy laws and intentionally limiting the amount of personal information that is disclosed online might now be enough to protect the private data from being exposed.

Fremont, CA Referring to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, above 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone. The percentage differs among the people between ages 18 and 49, and it rises to 99 percent. Therefore almost everyone shares common problem- cell phone data privacy. In the U.S., even the Constitution protects citizens from reasonable government intrusion. Although technology has changed the way personal data is handled, still the paper records are stored, but almost all the personal information is now digital data, which is traditionally stored in our houses, papers, and effects.

Many entities, like large organizations, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and internet service providers, store our private data. But it is no brainer that cell phone providers collect and stores more private information than any other single entity, considering the number of people owing cellphones. But data revealing personal information is maintained by one of the third parties who do not fit under existing legal precedents. A third-party doctrine established by U.S. Supreme Court cases in 1970 states that if the information is voluntarily shared with a third party, then we cannot expect the data to remain private.

With advances in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology, has made location data from cell phones, a feasible source of evidence for law enforcement agencies. A cell phones location can be very easily detected with GPS data and Cell Site Location Information (CSLI). CSLI is nothing but the information collected as a cellphone identifies its location to nearby cell towers. By utilizing numerous cell towers, a cell phone can be located with better precision, typically within a 16-foot radius.

In the year 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed this issue in which several robbery suspects’ cell phone numbers were identified. The Court had granted court orders to the prosecutors to obtain the suspects’ cellphone records under the Stored Communication Act. This resulted in the government to collect 12,898 location points cataloguing the suspects’ movement over 127 days without any warrant. The prosecutors utilized that data to show the suspects’ phone was near the places of robbery when they occurred. The government was able to identify the suspect because he had shared the information with his wireless carriers. Therefore the use of cellphone dos, not promises 100 percent privacy security.

see also: Top Cyber Security Solution Companies

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