Minnesota Police are Tracking Phones: What You Should Know


Margaret Holmes

In a time where everything is online, many people are uneasy about how private the files on their phones are. But, this issue has come under the spotlight recently with both The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension tracking people’s phones. Is this something you should worry about? Let us take a look at it. 

What exactly is phone tracking?

Phone tracking is the police’s ability to look thoroughly through all the files in your phone. This includes website history, text messages, phone call records, and pictures. This transfer of information does not have to happen physically. The police can access your information from afar. 

Who is being tracked?

All phones may be subject to investigation, regardless of if you have committed a crime recently. The police department sends out signals resembling those of a cell-tower, and these signals get past your phone’s privacy barrier and sends the wanted information back to them.

What are the police doing with my information?

Regardless of if your files contain important information for the police, your data could likely be stored in a government database to be used later on or consulted for future instances. 

How do I know if my data has been accessed?

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether or not your data has been accessed by the police department. 

Is there anything I can do about phone tracking?

At the moment there is not really anything you can personally do about phone tracking. In the future, however, laws may be changed that could grant citizens a little more privacy when it comes to their cell phones. 

Should Phone Tracking Be legal? Does it violate your constitutional rights? These are questions you might be asking yourself after reading this. If you are asking yourself these questions, contact The Online Privacy Alliance or reach out to your representative to express your concerns. But, it’s best not to worry about this unless you have committed a crime recently.