"Big Brother is watching." That is the concern that is facing many lawyers in Charlotte and surrounding N.C. counties, regarding the use of mobile phone data. According to a recent American Civil Liberties Union investigation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officers openly admit that they use information obtained from cell phone companies in compiling information against suspects. CMPD Officers routinely gather information regarding a suspect's contacts, phone records, location, and other valuable information, thereby allowing them to keep a detailed track of the suspect. However, according to the investigation, CMPD officers are required to obtain subpoenas and warrants showing probable cause before they seek such records from mobile phone companies.
Unfortunately, the American Civil Liberties Union found many localities in North Carolina and throughout the nation where the authorities are not required to follow such procedures prior to obtaining data from mobile devices. Rather, these law enforcement officials simply issue requests and pay minor fees to the mobile phone providers, and obtain the information. Several Police entities openly admitted ignoring the use of subpoenas and / or warrants.