You might already be creeped out about what your phone knows. But as The Atlantic points out, iPhone tracking isn't the half of it—there's gear out there so powerful, the ACLU demanded answers from the state of Michigan.
Cellbrite's handheld forensic tools are made to dump the entirety of your phone—and ergo, a large, large part of your entire life—into the hands of cops (or anyone else with the gear). All of your text messages, emails, videos, and photos—even the ones you deleted. But goes way beyond that. Google Maps queries—every address you've looked up and maybe ventured to—web searches, passwords, call logs. Your phone's entire file system. All timestamped, all geotagged, all providing a digital recreation of the way your physical existence projects itself into the cellular ether.
The UFED Physical Pro isn't just for Apple—it'll quickly suck data out of over 3,000 phones without the need for any intermediary computer. This data then provides whoever's looking at it with a comprehensive look at you—where you've been, what you've seen, who you've spoken to, and when. Once the data's extracted, it can be navigated on a computer as easily as you'd browse iPhoto. The potential for case-cracking evidence in the hands of police is immense—as immense as the potential for abusive breaches of privacy. Either way, the device (and others from competitors) is an incredibly powerful tool—and represents a digital frontier. And we're still a long way from figuring out the ethics of it. [via The Atlantic]