Police unlocking your data in the cloud

Our data stored in the cloud is increasingly sought after by law enforcement agencies. Increasingly, it is obtained using ‘cloud extraction technologies’.

Photo by Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash

We all generate vast amounts of data using our mobile phones. Surprisingly, the data created and collected by the apps we use such as Uber, Facebook, Slack and Alexa, is not stored on our phones, but in ‘the cloud’, on remote servers around the world.

Cloud extraction allows law enforcement agencies to take huge amounts of your data from the cloud via a legal back door, by seizing your phone. In so doing, law enforcement agencies can avoid official channels through cloud companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft. There is no check on what they take.

Cloud extraction technologies, provided by companies like Cellebrite, Magnet Axiom and Oxygen Forensics, allow law enforcement agencies to continually track your social media accounts. They even promote the use of facial recognition to analyse data extracted from the cloud. A place where you probably store all your photos.

The public are largely in the dark about what this technology is, when it is used and what exactly it can do. We are campaigning for greater transparency, working to expose who is using this technology. We are calling on companies to protect their users’ data. We demand strict safeguards for individuals’ data and that law enforcement agencies act lawfully.