Police tracking you using cell phone data - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police tracking you using cell phone data

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There is major concern on how far police will go to track you down. The civil rights activist group, ACLU, worries law enforcement agencies are checking into people's whereabouts using cell phone data without a warrant.

ACLU affiliates from all over the country filed requests with hundreds of law enforcement agencies demanding information about this.

"Just think about all the personal information that would be divulged about you if someone knew every minute of the day, they will be able to know whether you attend church regularly, who you associate with, whether you're being faithful to your spouse," said Rebecca Glenberg of the ACLU.

It's private information.

"They should not be able to simply use this technology against anyone they have a hunch or suspicion about," Glenberg said.

Here in Virginia, the ACLU sought out agencies in Fairfax County, the largest departments in the commonwealth.

"We thought that perhaps their practices may be representative of what going on elsewhere in Virginia," she said.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the civil rights group demands to know, whether police are obtaining warrants before accessing cell phone data, how often they get cell phone information, and how much money is spent on getting other people's cell phone information.

These days, no matter which cell phone company you're with, it's pretty easy for them to keep tabs on where you are - whether you're using Google maps or the weather app. The question is, should the cops be able to easily access that information as well.

"I think it would definitely be an invasion of privacy," said Richmond resident, Andrea Hooker.

"I can understand probable cause but just randomly going out and accessing people's cell phones isn't right," said Richmond Resident, David Whitney.

The ACLU will get a better handle on this, once the agencies get back to them. It'll be a couple of weeks. Right now, they're not blaming anyone of anything, they just want answers.

 Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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